– 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 bringing 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
Having been a volunteer and then a year-long Project Manager, Elizabeth (Liz) Bender (USA) is our Director of Curriculum and Programming.
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 who have attended our elementary age programs continue to graduate high school.
Samantha Bachrach (USA) has re-joined HCA as a Director and our Treasurer. She first volunteered with HCA in 2011, which sparked her passion for both teaching and Honduras. She ended up living on the island of Roatan for five years, teaching at a Montessori school and running an ice cream shop. During that time she met her husband, and they had their son. Samantha has since returned to the USA with her husband and son, where she is enjoying being closer to her family, taking bike rides, and all of the seasons. Until she can return to Honduras and its people, sun, and beaches, she loves maintaining her connection through HCA.
After serving as 2017-18 Project Manager, Eddy Moran (Australia) recently joined the Board of Directors as Director of Committee Development and Volunteer Engagement. Eddy first volunteered with HCA in 2016 and recently completed a year in El Porvenir as the 2017-18 Project Manager. With a wealth of multi-talented volunteers who wish to remain connected from afar, Eddy’s role is to develop and oversee committees and individual projects to support Curriculum, Fundraising, Volunteer Recruiting, PR, Finance, Technology, and more. Whether you’re an artist or an accountant, your help is valuable and needed. Please check in with Eddy to let her know you’re interested. Contact Eddy at Edwina@honduraschildalliance.org.
Anne Fowler (Canada) does some joint projects with 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. She began coming to Honduras with annual short-term medical missions in 1993. Upon retiring in 2001 (trust us – – Anne is far from retired!), she began spending 6 months of each year in Honduras. Anne has developed a variety of community programs. Some focus on health issues such as dental hygiene and HIV awareness and others are academically 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 also a director of Hamilton-Benest House. Contact Anne at Anne@honduraschildalliance.org.
– Programme Manager –
Simone D’Alò (Italy) recently completed a Masters of Science, Global Refugee Studies at Aalborg University in Denmark. Having volunteered with HCA in 2016, he couldn’t wait to put his skills to work by returning to be the 2018-19 Programme Manager. Along with solid experience and credentials, Simone’s outgoing and positive personality make him a great fit for his position which involves orienting, training, and supporting our volunteers while ensuring the smooth operations of our in-country programs. For 2018-19, Simone is especially excited to be incorporating some of the local young adults into our children’s programs by training them as ‘ayudantes’ (interns).
– HCA Advisory Board –
Doctora Amanda Radisic (USA) wears many hats at HCA. She is the liaison for our healthcare volunteers and she is also our Donations Manager. 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, health screenings and the annual dental brigades. One of Amanda’s favorite things about working with HCA is collaborating with warm and welcoming residents of El Porvenir, 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 is now completing her residency as a trauma surgeon. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rikke Soendergaard (Denmark) has done a variety of humanitarian, volunteer work, and research in Honduras since 2005, She has, so far, spent about three years there and even studied at a Honduran university. Currently, Rikke coordinates our training partnership with the Bomberos Porvenir (firefighters) which focuses on first aid, pre-hospital care, and community service. Rikke also advises on fire safety at our volunteer houses and gives first aid instruction to our volunteers.
Rikke emphasizes the importance of immersing oneself into the local culture, and thereby continuously learning from members of the community. She works to ensure that our projects meet the actual needs of the local people and that we always foster local involvement and ownership. 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. She also manages a social project for vulnerable teenagers that offers them the opportunity to become junior firefighters. Rikke is an experienced Instructor within Firefighting and First Aid. She holds a Master’s Degree in Development and International Relations and a Bachelor’s Degree in Languages and International Business Communications (English/Spanish).
Rikke served as the HCAs very first Project Manager and launched our first Vacation Activities Program (VAP) back in 2010. 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 and her hope is to spend a month in Honduras each 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.
Lynda Lawrence (USA) serves on the Honduras Child Alliance advisory board as a mentor for the in-country Healthy Snacks coordinators. Lynda is currently a Health Coach for a non-profit clinic in NYC for the underserved population with chronic diseases. She gives nutrition counseling along with hosting groups for diabetes management. She is working towards her Masters in Nutritional Science to become a dietitian. She also teaches medical yoga and connects yoga teachers with non-profits around NYC.
Lynda first volunteered with HCA as the first on-site Healthy Snacks Ambassador for six months in 2017 where she fell in love with the kids, the community, and the mission to better the wellbeing of El Porvenir through nutrition. She has since put together several nutrient dense recipes, helps create nutrition lessons tying kids to the origin of their food, and makes connections within the community to involve more locals in the making of the snacks.
Erin Dowd (USA) serves on the HCA Advisory Board in the area of Curriculum Development and has an ongoing involvement in the 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.
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 training! Jim serves on the HCA advisory board and can be reached at email@example.com.
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.
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 children. Together they enjoy the outdoors and travel. Cindy first visited Honduras in 2010 and HCA is excited to have her expertise and support.
– Our volunteer-powered SUPPORT TEAM-
Andy Long (Australia) started volunteering with HCA in October 2013 and ended up returning on 3 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 sometime again soon!
Maggie Dekker (USA-PA) first volunteered at HCA in 2016 and returned for a full year in 2017-18 to be HCA’s first-ever Outreach Manager. Maggie’s big heart translated to great success as Outreach Manager as she spearheaded many fundraising initiatives including renovating PEP-Centro and greatly increasing HCA’s monthly donors. She is a 2017 graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia, PA where she majored in sociology. Maggie is currently working as a Client Advocate at the Defender Association of Philadelphia while she is applying to study Law. Maggie is extremely passionate about and connected with the children of El Porvenir and can’t wait to return to see all of their happy faces. She continues her involvement with HCA by checking references for potential volunteers.
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!