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In Italy, they call them "scugnizzi," and in Honduras they call them "Los Niños de la Calle" which literally means "street kids." In fact, some of them are even born on the streets, where their mothers' live, which typically is a cardboard box. Here in Honduras this is a very serious problem.


In the state of Olancho, with a population of approximately 500,000 people, we have our fair share of street kids. The Catholic Church in Latin America not only tries to identify the problem, but also tries to find a solution. It was shameful to see children roaming the streets, searching for food in the garbage bins, and huddled together at night under one of our bridges. Something had to be done.


In the month of April'2001 we laid the first stone for the building of a real orphanage. The people of Olancho understanding the great urgency, rallied behind the cause. Many people provided the labour, we received the cement, sand and gravel and a flood of generous donations from our benefactors in Toronto, Canada and the United States of America. Financial assistance even arrived from far away as Europe. It was eleven months of hard work and generosity. On March 24, 2002 the Hogar de Niños - "Santa Maria de Los Angeles" opened it's doors to it's first five "angels." They came in dirty, hungry and in rags, their hands empty, but their faces full of angelic smile. We were so happy to see them.


Today, 34 angels inhabit the hogar (home). Two Franciscan sisters work with them 24 hours a day, and four lay women help with the washing of the cloths, sheets and other laundry duties. Also, they assist in the cooking and cleaning of the premises. Currently, the age ranges of the children are from two months to fifteen years old. We form a very noisy family, but a very happy one. The children receive love and security, we feed and cloth them and provide them with a proper education. We stay by their bed at night when one of them is sick, listen to their worries and always try to be there for them when they need us.


Today, the Hogar de Niños - "Santa Maria de Los Angeles" is a household name all over Olancho. People visit our extended family with their small donations of food, cloths, toys, plates, pots, pans and more. There is always something we could use with a family of thirty four children. At the end of the day, we conclude in the most beautiful way, a recitation of the Rosary. Our Rosary intentions are always the same, for our dear benefactors in Toronto, in the USA and in Europe. After all, we owe them all we are and all we have!