– Directors –
Eve Horowitz (USA) is the founder and Executive Director of the Honduras Child Alliance and she coordinates the recruiting and placement of our international volunteers. Her big secret (revealed here) is that although everyone knows that she gets mucho satisfaction from sending volunteers to work with the children in Honduras, she also gets tremendous joy from observing the impact on each volunteer as they return to their home countries. They are transformed and never quite view their lives in the same way as before. They’re not just changing Honduras – – they are changing the world!
In addition to focusing on fundraising & program development, Eve brings a blend of creative and operational strengths to Honduras Child Alliance. With 20+ years of management & leadership experience, she is an accomplished fundraiser and commercial writer and specializes in the area of training and development. With a B.A. in Education from Goddard College, she also has a Certificate in Fundraising from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently enrolled at the International Institute for Restorative Practices. When not in Honduras, Eve resides in Pennsylvania, USA.
First visiting Honduras in 1992, Eve initially considered sponsoring Honduran children in need as a cross-cultural experience for her own two kids. As she understood more about the social issues facing impoverished children in Honduras, it became a larger mission. Recognizing that her actions and support could create immediate, tangible improvement in the children’s lives she began developing volunteer-powered programs that have evolved to become HCA. Eve travels to and from El Porvenir 4-5X each year and considers Honduras her second home. She views the Honduras Child Alliance as, “a wish come true”. Contact Eve at Eve@honduraschildalliance.org
In addition to serving as an HCA Director, Elizabeth (Liz) Bender (USA) also oversees the quality and development of our curriculums.
Liz started working in El Porvenir by doing four volunteer stints from 2009-2012, spending about one-year total volunteering before returning as our on-site Project Manager for an additional year in 2015-16. During her time in El Porvenir, she realized that beyond teaching basic academics, she became passionate about providing education and support in keeping the children healthy, sparking her interest in pursuing a degree in Public Health. Liz says, “Since my first time volunteering with HCA, I have felt connected to El Porvenir, the programs, and the kids! This program means so much to me and the opportunity to continue this work in a leadership position is immensely satisfying!” Liz brings a broad range of skills to HCA and returns regularly to help train volunteers, implement curriculum, and give support to our on-site Project Managers. Liz has been the impetus behind our new scholarship program to help students in our elementary age programs continue to graduate high school.
Anne Fowler (Canada) is serving as Secretary for the Honduras Child Alliance and is involved in several additional projects as well. Anne is Canadian and was raised in Toronto. She worked in nursing, as a flight attendant and then owned a Toronto based Human Resources company for over 30 years. When not in Honduras, Anne enjoys golf, gardening and reading, along with spending time with her two grown children and their families.
Anne began coming to Honduras with annual short-term medical missions in 1993. Upon retiring in 2001 (trust us – – Anne is far from retired!), Anne began spending 6 months of each year in Honduras. Her first four years were at an eye clinic for the poor in El Progresso and then for the past 10 years, have been in El Porvenir.
Anne has developed a variety of community programs to benefit children. Some focus on health issues such as dental hygiene and HIV awareness and others are academic based. Anne’s goal is to assist in raising the quality of life in Honduras by creating self-sustaining community programs designed to educate, motivate and facilitate individual growth and self-esteem. Anne is a founding director of the Porvenir English Program and the Reader’s Club – Club de Lecturas which are both operated by HCA volunteers. Anne is also a director of Hamilton-Benest House. Contact Anne at Anne@honduraschildalliance.org.
Cindy Mataraso (USA) is a clinical psychologist in Sacramento California. She believes that all people have the right to live a life with meaning and purpose. She has dedicated her career to serving disenfranchised and underserved people. She operates programs for people who are in a psychiatric crisis or in need of long term residential treatment to develop skills or regain them to create a life worth living. Her programs offer holistic and strength based treatment in homelike environments.
When Cindy is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, a loving husband of 20 years and 3 teenaged children. Together they enjoy the outdoors and travel. Cindy takes long walks with her friends and beloved dog, Rusty, enjoys petting her ever furry cat, Romeo and tends to her backyard flock of chickens. Cindy first visited Honduras in 2010 and HCA is excited to have her expertise and support.
– Project Manager –
Edwina (Eddy) Moran (Australia) is HCA’s 2017-18 Project Manager. Having first volunteered with HCA in 2016, Eddy couldn’t stay away! She brings a great mix of educational and organizational skills to her job of welcoming and coaching our in-country volunteers and overseeing the various programs.
Eddy is currently completing her Bachelor of Arts (Sociology) at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She is a world traveler and has experience and a great passion for working with children. She has also worked in many different roles in the hospitality industry in Australia, Hungary, Canada, and Portugal.
Eddy says, “I am extremely happy to be an HCA manager because I am enthusiastic about continuing to work towards alleviating the cycle of poverty and lack of education that negatively impacts opportunities for the children in El Porvenir. With the combined energy of the local community and international volunteers, HCA helps to provide a safe place for the children to learn, and being part of such an environment is exhilarating!”
– Outreach Manager –
Maggie Dekker (USA-PA) is HCA’s 2017-18 Outreach Manager. In addition to working side by side to support the in-country volunteers, Maggie coordinates our in-country events and relationships. She also works to promote HCA to potential volunteers and donors via social media, newsletters, and online listings.
Maggie first volunteered at HCA in 2016. She is a 2017 graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia, PA where she majored in sociology. Maggie has a strong interest in Latin American studies and immigration and has plans to continue her education to study immigration law. Along with her organizational and communication skills, Maggie brings a big heart and a passion for our HCA kids. We’re very happy to have her bac
– HCA Advisory Board –
Samantha Bachrach (USA/Honduras) has re-joined HCA as our Treasurer. She documents all funds coming in and out of HCA and coaches the in-country managers to be sure that expenditures are properly accounted for. Samantha first volunteered with HCA in 2011 and hasn’t left Honduras since. After volunteering, she moved to the island of Roatan, where she met the man who is now her husband. After discovering her passion for teaching with HCA, she began working as a teacher at a Montessori school on the island, where she worked for five years. Samantha is now a proud mother of her 2 ½-year-old son, who she shares her hobbies of going to the beach and cooking healthy meals with.
Jim Beal (USA) volunteered in Honduras for 10 months in 2011-12. Although Jim worked at several programs, he also brought a construction component to our programs due to his concern about the effects of poor hygiene on the children’s health and attendance at school. Because of this concern, Jim has so far spearheaded the construction of 11 bathroom / showers for families who otherwise had only an outhouse. Please see our Building Baños page for recent projects and check out Jim’s blog for info on how the Porvenir Construction Program began. http://hondurasjim.wordpress.com/2012/03/11/shower-power/ A native of Pennsylvania, Jim plans to continue working in Honduras in between completing a medical degree! Jim serves on the HCA advisory board and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rikke Soendergaard (Denmark) has been involved in humanitarian work in Honduras since 2005, and has, so far, spent more than two years in Honduras. Rikke has done a variety of volunteer work and research in the La Ceiba area, and even studied at a Honduran university in La Ceiba. Currently, Rikke coordinates our partnership program with the Bomberos Porvenir (firefighters) which focuses on first aid, pre-hospital care, and community service. Rikke is also responsible for fire safety at our volunteer houses and gives first aid courses to volunteers when she is in Honduras.
Rikke emphasizes the importance of immersing oneself into the local culture, and thereby continuously learning from members of the community through their various social levels and positions in life. A specific focal point for Rikke is sustainability. She hopes to ensure that our work meets the actual needs of the locals and that we foster local involvement and local ownership in all of our projects. Fun fact: Rikke has two heart-adopted families in Honduras, one in La Ceiba and one in El Porvenir. The youngest daughter in her family in El Porvenir was named after her, something that touched Rikke very much.
In Denmark Rikke works as Master Sergeant with the Fire Department of Nordvestjylland. In addition to administrative tasks, her responsibilities here include management of a social project for vulnerable teenagers that offers them to become junior firefighters. Rikke is an experienced Instructor within Firefighting and First Aid. Rikke holds a Master’s Degree in Development and International Relations and a Bachelor’s Degree in Languages and International Business Communications (English/Spanish). She also holds a wide variety of certifications within fire, rescue and emergency management. In her spare time Rikke is a voluntary firefighter and teamleader. She loves playing board games with friends, reading books, watching documentaries and exploring new places – both in Denmark and abroad (and very much in our beautiful Honduras!)
As part of her Master’s Degree, Rikke served as the HCAs very first Project Manager and launched our first Vacation Activities Program (VAP) back in 2010. She put great effort into the planning process and did everything she could to involve community members in promoting and supporting the program. She is proud that the Vacation Activities Program has become a huge success and is now an annual program that the children and their parents look forward to!
Rikke has considered Honduras her second home for many years now and her hope is to spend a month in Honduras every year to catch up with the projects, to give first aid classes to new volunteers and to maintain and develop our relations with the local community.
Olman Flores Estrada (Honduras) is a member of the advisory board for Honduras Child Alliance. Olman was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and now lives in the town of Santa Ana along the north coast. He is a CPA and has a degree in Social Education and in the Administration of Projects for teenagers. Olman has spent much of his professional career working to care for and benefit children in Honduras. He has been a scout leader, Sub-Director of the Hogar de Amor y Esperanza orphanage, Project Construction Manager for FHIS (Fondo Hondureño de Inversión Social / Honduran Social Investment Fund), and Director of SOS Aldeas Infantiles in La Ceiba, Honduras. We are grateful for Olman’s insight and guidance as we prepare our volunteers for their work at the HCA projects.
Shawna Bayerman, M.S., L.D.N. (USA) is a registered dietitian currently working on her PhD in nutrition. Shawna received her master’s degree in Food Science and Nutrition at Colorado State University where she designed a Promotora model to promote healthy eating in the Hispanic/ Latino community. At the present time, she works as a clinical dietitian. She specializes in creating nutrition care plans in a variety of acute and chronic disease states. She also promotes grassroots efforts to increase government support of nutrition outreach as the Public Policy Chair-Elect of the Philadelphia Dietetics association.
Shawna first visited El Porvenir, Honduras in the summer of 2011 to volunteer. Her eyes were opened to the reality that children frequently only eat one meal per day and this meal typically lacked the nutrition that their bodies need to thrive. With a ceaseless desire to continue working with this community, Shawna came to Honduras Child Alliance in 2015 to help reformulate the Healthy Snack Program.
Shawna designs recipes that include nutritionally dense foods that are locally available. She shares a vision with HCA to include local community members in preparing these snacks to help teach about healthy eating while creating a sustainable healthy snack program.
Erin Dowd (USA) serves on the HCA Advisory Board and has been involved in the development and implementation of the PEP curriculum. In her professional life, she is a global education consultant and founder of JRNEY, a website dedicated to amplifying teacher voice through global stories from the field. She is also a founding member of Teach SDGs and currently serves as Committee Liaison for the organization, the professional learning chair for the ISTE Global Collaboration PLN, and was named an ASCD Emerging Leader for 2017. A former teacher and curriculum director of over 13 years, Erin has spent her career working to provide equitable education for students all over the world. Connect with her on Twitter @globaljrney.
– Our volunteer-powered admin staff –
Amanda Radisic (USA) serves on the HCA Advisory Board as our liaison for healthcare volunteers and she is also the Donations Manager for Honduras Child Alliance. Amanda orients and preps the volunteers who will be working at local hospitals and clinics in La Ceiba and she also maintains our Sponsor Program, connecting donors with the projects they wish to support.
Amanda made her first trip to Honduras in 2011, and from that point on, she was hooked. She started volunteering with HCA in 2013, and since then she has returned several times each year. Amanda has worked with HCA on a variety of different projects, including PEP, VAP, the health screening and education program held in the summer of 2015, and the 2013 and 2018 annual dental brigades. One of Amanda’s favorite things about working with HCA is collaborating with the residents of El Porvenir, who are so warm and welcoming and engaging them in our projects. She also enjoys integrating new volunteers into the community and helping them make the transition from their home country to their new home away from home in Honduras.
Amanda says, “Working with the children of El Porvenir has changed my life in so many ways. Their enthusiasm, energy, and desire to learn is inspiring, and I feel so lucky to have been able to watch our students grow up over the years. I am looking forward to helping HCA expand its programs and outreach.” A native of the Philadelphia area, Amanda graduated from medical school in May 2018 and will be training to specialize as a trauma surgeon post-graduation. Working in Honduras has exposed her to some of the harsh health and nutrition realities plaguing the country, and she hopes to use her medical degree to continue to serve the place she considers her “second home.” Contact Amanda at email@example.com
Andy Long (Australia) started volunteering with HCA in October 2013 and ended up returning on3 separate occasions since, for 7 months total. Andy continues to support HCA by helping with our volunteer recruitment. He says, “I support volunteers going to Honduras because it is important to experience and understand other cultures and situations, and participate in improving them if that is a possibility. Also, El Porvenir is a wonderful town with some beautiful people.” Thanks Andy and we’ll be waiting to see you in El P some time again soon!
Christina Durso (USA) Christina volunteered at HCA in 2014. Prior to coming to Honduras, Christina was an elementary school teacher. Her passion for education and desire to help expand opportunities for children in underserved populations are what led her to volunteer. Since her time in El Porvenir, Christina has received a Master’s Degree in School Counseling and is currently a school counselor at the elementary level. Some of her favorite memories in El P include planning and teaching kinder classes, VAP, and playing with the kids at the beach and in el campo. Thanks Christina, we’re happy to have your help!
Alessandra Large (UK) studied Spanish, Russian and Interpreting at University and in 2012, spent 6 months of her Year Abroad volunteering with Honduras Child Alliance. She opened the PEP2 location with two other volunteers and also taught at the Reader’s Club. Alex says, “I was lucky enough to teach adult English Class several evenings each week and I would sincerely recommend to anyone who is thinking of volunteering, to teach at PEP-Adultos, as it is so rewarding and every adult who attends is so grateful and so inspiring.” Since Honduras, Alex has completed her studies and is now interning with an Environmental Education company in Seville, Spain. She plans to work in Educational Development and returned to Honduras for a quick visit in 2014!!
Ofer Chama (Israel) came from Israel to volunteer at a kinder in El Porvenir from January to June, 2010. Ofer continues to support Honduras Child Alliance by doing reference checks for potential volunteers. Ofer is also involved in a great organization in Israel which helps maintain the Latino culture for recent Hispanic immigrants. Check it out: http://laescuelitaisrael.wordpress.com/ We appreciate Ofer’s help and are glad to have him as an ongoing volunteer.
“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore