Proyecto Family Meals
A unique program at NPH Honduras creates a space for sibling bonds to grow stronger over a tasty meal.
October 15, 2017 - Honduras
At NPH Honduras, we believe in keeping siblings together and giving children the space to be creative. These beliefs, coupled with a good idea from our volunteers, led to the realization of 'Proyecto' here at Rancho Santa Fe.
The volunteers at NPH Honduras wanted to give siblings more time together at the home. Monday through Thursday, volunteers host siblings, ranging from two to as many as eight children, for an evening of cooking and games. The children are in control of the night and work together alongside their biological families.
Elias* and Alonso*, ages 15 and 10, were excited on their walk from the boys' area of the ranch to the volunteer house.
These two brothers, who joined the NPH family in 2008, live in separate areas of the home. While they spend time together during free time, an evening with just the two of them is still a special treat. Noah, a volunteer and a math tutor for grades 3 through 9th, walks along asking the boys what they would like to make for the evening.
After settling on Baleadas with chocolate cake for dessert, the boys are in total control of dividing the tasks and making the decisions. Elias, who enjoys math class and wants to study medicine or professional translation in university, is the natural leader of the two children and helps Alonso through the cooking process.
“Baleadas are my favorite; when you make the tortillas, you have to flatten them out just right to make sure they do not stick to the pan,” Elias explained.
Alonso, while the youngest of the family, knows his way around the kitchen. He was excited to share his expertise with his older brother. “The salsa is the most important part though,” adds Alonso, “You have to make sure you add just the right amount of vinegar with the cucumbers.”
Once the brothers have cooked the requisite eggs, tortillas, salsa, and beans, Noah sets the table. As the dinner begins, the conversation quickly turns to math class and soccer.
“Both of us are doing well in math; I am more excited about our next soccer match honestly,” Elias shares.
“Both of your grades are doing well actually,” says Noah, “I have not had to work with either of you for math at all, which is great!” Noah sees this gathering as a way of strengthening the bond “between the volunteer and the entirety of the youth on the ranch, not just those that I see when they need math help.”
After the meal, Elias and Alonso take out the fresh chocolate cake from the oven. The sweet smell of warm chocolate wafting out of the kitchen stands in stark contrast to the damp scent of the surrounding ranch.
This initially small program has expanded to be one of the most popular among the children.
The success of the “Proyecto” program is not a surprise to the NPH staff as it is rooted in two of Father Wasson’s most important values: an intense commitment to the development of each child’s unique potential and the stability of family.