06/02/09 - A day after traveling to Central America to attend the swearing in of El Salvador's president Mauricio Funes, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Honduras. Clinton is in Honduras through June 3 to participate in a summit of the Organization of American States (OAS).
Clinton's presence in the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula signals part of the U.S. government's interest in strengthening ties with Latin America. Much of the OAS agenda will focus on Cuba. The gathering of leaders from 34 Western hemisphere nations will discuss bringing Cuba back into the organization's fold after the communist country's nearly five-decade absence. OAS membership for Cuba is problematic, since the group requires its member states to be democracies.
Children at an SOS School in Honduras
Even though it is in the U.S. backyard, much of the Latin American population has suffered for years from political instability, natural disasters, and poverty. These factors breed homelessness for children. One of Clinton’s greatest causes, especially earlier in career, was children.
SOS Children's Villages, the world's largest charity devoted to providing loving homes to orphaned and abandoned children, has been in South America since 1964 and in Central America since 1970.
SOS Children's Villages Gives Love, Shelter, and Stability to Honduran Children
Children playing outside of the SOS Children's Village Cholucteca in Honduras
SOS Children's Villages set up its first Central American village in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa almost four decades ago. Today, Honduras has seven SOS Children's Villages, including one caring for children with special needs.
Honduran children fortunate enough to be raised in an SOS Village find a professionally trained local SOS mother, a stable home, SOS siblings, and a supportive community.
Beyond providing love, food, and shelter to vulnerable children, SOS offers family strengthening programs whose goal is to enable local parents to keep their families intact and their children happy and healthy.
Family Strengthening Part of SOS Strategy in Latin America
SOS Children and their SOS Mothers at a Village in Honduras
Most SOS Children's Villages around the world have social centers that provide counseling to local families. In Honduras and elsewhere in Latin America, SOS Social Centers give priority to vulnerable female heads of household who need daycare for their children in order to work.
SOS staff offer training to improve mothers' self-esteem and develop their social skills. Mothers learn about women's rights and receive training in domestic violence, sexual and reproductive health rights, safe maternity and childcare, and literacy. Women with concrete proposals for enterprises can request interest-free loans from SOS social centers, which can help them and their children gain financial stability.
If you would like to help a Latin American child secure a warm home, a full stomach, and a bright future, consider sponsoring an SOS child.