Heart in Education Teacher Outreach (HETO) was founded in 2004 by Mrs. Peggy Esselman, an Indianapolis educator, who witnessed the critical need for professional development and basic school supplies in Honduran schools in and around Tegucigalpa. Upon her return to the U.S., Peggy began developing partnerships between Indiana elementary, middle, and high schools and the schools she had visited in Honduras.
The mission of Heart in Education Teacher Outreach is to promote high-quality learning environments in Honduras through material and intellectual support.
Image credit: Nicolas Raymond (www.freestock.ca)
The Central American country of Honduras is a nature-lover's paradise. Dense forests blanket steep mountains, tropical flowers and native birds dot the landscape, and white sand beaches stretch along the clear, warm waters of the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea (represented on the national flag with the two bands of blue). Of the over 8 million citizens of Honduras, over 90% are Spanish-speaking mestizos, or descendants of both Spanish and Ameri-Indian ancestry.
Extreme poverty is one of Honduras's greatest challenges. The annual GDP per capita is approximately $2200, keeping over 50% of the population in extreme poverty. According to the CIA's World Factbook, "the increased productivity needed to break Honduras' persistent high poverty rate depends, in part, on further improvements in educational attainment. Although primary-school enrollment is near 100%, educational quality is poor, the drop-out rate and grade repetition remain high, and teacher and school accountability is low." Typical students attend classes until age 11 (or 12 for girls), while 16% of children ages 5-14 work to earn money for the family.