Aldeas Infantiles SOS La Ceiba - Annual Newsletter
New Computer Lab at SOS
September 12, 2003, La Ceiba, Honduras
The year 2003 has been a good one for this orphanage in La Ceiba,
Honduras. The number of sponsors has grown to 85 and the number of
sponsored children has grown to 115. The sponsors currently pay $12/month/child,
and they send 3 gifts per year (Birthdays, Children's Day and Christmas).
These gifts and the exchange of letters, provide an essential contact
between the sponsors and the children at SOS La Ceiba. The level of
care at SOS is very good, but the kids have a deep need to know that
someone somewhere cares about them. Like all kids, they crave love
and attention. We try and take them in small groups on outings to
the beach, river, islands, botanical gardens, biological reserves,
etc nearly every weekend, including some overnights at our house or
in other destinations. This provides them with individual attention
that is hard to provide under the setting at SOS. Since January 2002,
we have taken >500 children on outings, which obviously includes
repeat trips for most kids. Special reports with photos are sent to
all sponsors covering these outings and other events. My daughter
Dana Thibodeau helps out in California with the deposit of all the
With help from some generous sponsors, SOS La Ceiba finally has telephone
service. They have only had unreliable cellphone service in the last
few years. It was necessary to buy radiotelephone equipment, plus
a fax, which came to $2000.
With the help of a gentleman in Wisconsin and another in Holland,
we have set up a computer lab at SOS with 6 used computers. Two computers
are equipped with speakers and microphones, which allow use of the
interactive English tutorial "Hablamos Ingles", which comes
on 3 CDs. The children now can learn some English right at the Aldea,
along with computer skills. They can also do school assignments requiring
computers, and write to their sponsors. We hope to have a lady volunteer
come on Saturday afternoons to teach Microsoft Office programs. I
help out with both the English and computer skills during the week.
The older kids are also producing their very first SOS bulletin using
the program Microsoft Publisher. The 1st edition comes out in mid-September
with news and photos of happenings at SOS La Ceiba.
SOS group singing in English at their
English class at Harris Communication
In addition, we have 6 children taking English classes at Harris
Communications here in La Ceiba. They go Saturday mornings, and are
half-way through the 9 month program. I encourage them to speak English
with me whenever we are together. There are also 5 children that are
taking computer classes here in town, plus 2 more that have completed
the 1 month course. These classes are all made possible by generous
sponsors and other donors. We hope to continue these programs if funding
is available, as this will give these kids a big break in life. There
is a premium on English and computer skills here in the country.
Recently we took digital photos of all the children, that are available
to send to potential sponsors. By email, we sent each sponsor a recent
photo of their sponsored child(ren).
Every month, we buy gifts for those that are celebrating birthdays,
with the 15th birthdays for girls being very special events. At year
end there are also baptisms and 1st communions. On September 9, the
children were invited by the 1st lady to the Barcelo Aquatic Park
for the day, which was a big event for all of them. Then on Children's
Day (September 10), the children and their "tias" (aunts)
put on a special singing and dancing program, followed by the distribution
of gifts from the sponsors, and cake, ice cream cones, cokes and big
red balloons. We will have to buy another 115 gifts in just 3 months
when Santa Claus is due. Our thanks to all the sponsors that help
make these children happy with their gifts and letters. A special
thanks to those that provide gift funds for children with no sponsors,
so that these kids won't be left out.
Standard Fruit de Honduras is now providing 10 boxes/week of Mayan
Gold pineapples to SOS La Ceiba.
During the year, we provided foam fluoride treatment and a toothbrush
to all kids between the ages of 5 and 11. We also obtained donations
of T-shirts, medicines, washcloths, rakes, tools, notebooks, school
texts, toys, etc. Through Internet contact with the Global Education
Fund, we obtained 15 boxes of beautiful books in Spanish and full
color for the library. Many of these came in multiple copies allowing
use in the kindergarden. These books provide many hours of reading
pleasure, plus a real educational experience outside of school classes.
Internet connections have also allowed us to obtain specialized, low-cost
medical treatment for a number of children. These include a young
girl with crossed-eyes, another needing a replacement eye prosthesis,
a boy with kidney disease, a boy needing a hearing aid, etc. We hope
to be able to continue finding help for other children with medical
Skating party for SOS at Megaroller in the mall.
It is worth mentioning that the need for care of orphaned and abandoned
children in Honduras has been increasing at a monumental pace in the
last several years. Care facilities are unable to meet this growing
demand. One of the causes is the AIDS epidemic, in which the children
lose both parents, or their single mother. One of our sponsors, Peggy
Gray, has helped us over the last several years in finding new sponsors.
A very special thanks to all our sponsors for their continuing support.
For more information on becoming a sponser or in getting involved
with SOS Click Here
Saludos from La Ceiba, Dave & Anton Ashby
© Dave Ashby, all rights reserved, used by permission only.