It is with sadness and heavy hearts that we announce the recent deaths of two of El Hogar’s graduates in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Roberth Alberto Sanchez (20 years old) and Orlin Emmanuel Carcamo (19 years old) were found dead in a residential area in the southern area of the city on Wednesday, September 9. They had been abducted the night before, along with two other boys, during a soccer game in the Villanueva neighborhood in the southeastern part of the city. They had been beaten and gang activity is the suspected reason for the murders.
Orlin was Roberth’s uncle and they had both graduated from our Technical Institute in 2012. We strive to provide every opportunity for our students to rise above the situations that they were born into and to give them the tools they need to succeed after graduating. Unfortunately, some of our graduates do not have the support they need within their communities when they leave our care. When this is the case, these young people can fall prey to the pressures and temptations that surround them. It has come to our attention that Orlin had become involved in gang activity. Sadly, this seems to have contributed to his and Roberth’s deaths.
Funeral services were held on Sunday, September 13, in the neighborhood that Roberth and Orlin called home. Their neighbors came together to provide coffins for the two boys. Elementary campus Director Claudia Castro and other El Hogar staff members were able to attend the funeral. Counseling is being made available to the students and staff during this difficult period and there will also be a memorial service held at the Elementary campus this week.
Roberth’s younger brother, Jonathan, is currently in the ninth grade at our Technical Institute and we are working to ensure that he is given all of the support and love that he needs from his El Hogar family. He is receiving personalized counseling and we will continue to provide as much assistance as he needs for as long as he needs to get through this painful chapter in his life.
Our number one concern at all times is the well-being of the students in our care. We are on constant alert for their safety during their time with us. They are frequently reminded about the dangers in Tegucigalpa and surrounding areas, and about those who would lead them down the wrong path. Unfortunately, when our students graduate we are unable to provide the constant protection that they have within our walls. The problem is exacerbated when issues like drugs and gang activity come into the picture.
We are a family and we mourn the lives that have been lost during this terrible ordeal, but come out of this with an even greater resolve to do as much as we can so that this does not happen again to one of our graduates – a member of our family. This type of violence – commonplace in Honduras – underscores the importance of the work we do with these children each day and challenges us to do more. We encourage our students to rise above the situations that they have come from and to understand that the heavy burdens they carry do not define them. We are always letting them know that they do not have to follow the paths that others around them have gone down.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you might have. Matt Engleby, our Executive Director in Honduras, can be reached via email at email@example.com; Liz Kinchen, our Executive Director in North America, can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by phone at 781-729-7600; Margo Mingay, our Service Team Coordinator, can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 416-696-7682.
Our organization, our staff, and our students appreciate your prayers and support during this difficult time.