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At this Franciscan Mission, there are three outreach projects that are intertwined with each other: The Nutritional Center (Centro Nutricional "San Francisco"), The Kindergarten "San Francisco de Asis" and the Parish Clinic (Clinica Parroquial "Santa Clara"). Saint Gertrude's Parish is situated on the outskirts of the town of Juticalpa. Around the parish church, one can find the poorest barrios (neighborhoods) in the state of Olancho. Together with the Franciscan Sisters who work in the parish, we established the above noted three outreach efforts, that work very well together to help mitigate the dire situation of so many.


Centro Nutricional "San Francisco"

The Nutritional Center was established in 1992 to meet the many nutrional needs of the community. The center's efforts are directly mostly at the children of single mothers. Typically, the majority of single moms work in the public market of Juticalpa. Their day begins at 4:00am and they return late at night, when it is dark. In Honduras, there is no such thing as "daycare" for children and as such, many kids end up in the streets all day long. At the Nutritional Center, we feed the children everyday and cloth those that have very little clothing or are naked. We ensure they have shoes to wear and other material necessities to get them through each day. Currently, we take care of approximately 115 children and if it were not for the Nutritional Center, none of "little creatures" would receive any food and attention all day!


Kindergarten "San Francisco de Asis"

The Kindergarten is practically an extension of the Nutritional Center. Children between the years of four and six, are received at this "pre-school house." One of the Franciscan Sisters, who previously used to be a teacher before entering the convent, lovingly takes care of these kids. Currently, sixty four little angels are being prepared for the next level, so that one day they can enroll in primary school. We provide the kids with everything: pencils, copybooks, satchels, uniforms, and anything they might need during the school year. Classes begin at 8:00am and end at 1:00pm. Our graduation day at the Kindergarten has become famous in Olancho because the Bishop is present and does the honours of handing out the diplomas.


Clinica Parroquial "Santa Clara"

The Parish Clinic is an extension of the Nutritional Center and the Kindergarten. Two doctors from the parish generously donate their time and services and provide complete medical treatment for all the children. All too often, the doctors diagnose many cases of malnutrition, skin rashes, malaria and even dengue. The clinic provides thousands of vitamins every month and every child is closely monitored with documented medical history and treatment in their own dossier. Everything is done with the most loving care, completely free of charge. Some of the doctors and a couple of pharmacies provide us with the malaria pills, vitamins and basic injections. Typically each week, the clinic treats dozens of sick children.