College & Medical School Scholarship Update
Pictured left to right: Melchor, Cesia, Bryan, Deborah, Bendiman & Chester… Dina (not pictured)
Reach Out Honduras is currently providing college scholarships to 7 university students. We would like to take an opportunity to tell you a little about each of these students, their dreams and where they are in their studies.
Cesia is 20 years old. She was orphaned when she was a young girl and was raised by her aunts in an extended family setting. When we met Cesia in 2010, she was not studying at all but had BIG dreams of getting back in high school and going to college to be an English teacher. She began taking English classes with Laura each Sunday afternoon. Cesia is a gem. Thanks to some amazing ROH sponsors, Cesia did finish high school in 2012 and now has 2 years of college under her belt. Her career path will require 3 more years of university study. After college, she wants to continue to ‘support her church in loving and finding lost sheep’ and be able to help her extended family materially and spiritually. Her brother, Melchor, is a medical school scholarship recipient and her little sister, Cindy, studies at the ROH school, Instituto Vida Abundante.
Deborah is also 20 years old. Her mother is one of the aunts that took in many orphans. Deborah was also out of school when we met her in 2010. Deborah is currently 2 years into her college studies to be a Preschool Teacher… a perfect job for her patient heart. She also has 3 more years to finish her studies. Her desire after graduation is to teach and help those with great need. Her little sister, Hasmina, studies at the ROH school, Instituto Vida Abundante.
Chester is 22 years old. His mother, Maritza, is the head of the Alastero extended family of orphans. Read more about the family below. Chister is also 2 years into his studies to be an Information Technology professional. Last January, he helped us with our initial technology class for new students coming to Instituto Vida Abundante. When he finishes, he wants to find a good job so that he can help the church. Chester is a very quiet guy with great insight into people.
Dina is 20 years old. Her mother, also Dina, is also one of the surviving aunts. She recently moved to La Ceiba and Dina transferred her university studies to La Ceiba to be close to her family. Dina is studying to be an English teacher. She was also in Laura’s English class. Dina is a spunky young lady who will achieve what she sets her mind to do!
Bendiman is 21 years old. His mother is also Maritza Alastero. He just started his university studies this year. Early on in the year, he decided that he wanted to be a Dr. of Chemistry and Pharmacy. He will have 5 more years to reach this goal. Bendiman is eager to be a pharmacist and return to La Mosquitia where his career is desperately needed. With his 2 cousins below, Bendiman dreams of creating a private hospital for the poor with excellent patient care here in La Mosquitia. He also wants to continue to lead the youth in his church.
Melchor and Brian Alastero, cousins and both orphans, are currently 3 years into their medical school dream. It is a very rare thing for a Miskito child to even imagine themselves capable of ever attending medical school. Only a small percentage of children ever go further than 6th grade in this very remote, very poor area. The doctors here are all from the interior of Honduras or from Cuba.
Thanks to amazing donors to Reach Out Honduras, both Brian and Melchor have completed their third year of this HUGE blessing.
Reach Out Honduras hopes to offer Melchor and Brian a scholarship for one year at a time. The scholarships will include one year of living expenses, textbooks, enrollment fees and travel expenses. Medical school tuition itself is almost free. Melchor and Brian communicate with the Waits family on a bi-weekly basis and share prayer requests, class challenges and praises.
Every year, grades and conduct will be evaluated before the scholarship is granted for another year. Click here to contribute!
Here is additional information on the Alastero family:
Marina Alastero was an amazing woman of God. After receiving a scholarship to study in the US, Marina returned to her home to help others. Marina had a vision and heart for children in need. She worked many jobs: a statistician at the hospital, taught business classes at night, taught English at her own school and was a mother to her own children. Within a very short period of time, 3 of her 11 siblings and one cousin passed away. Marina took in all of the orphaned children of her siblings and cousin. Her vision… that her entire extended family and their children have educational opportunities. She prayed openly about this dream and knew that God would provide a way.
To give you a picture of how Marina lived … as she walked to and from town, she would stop and talk to people about her faith. Often, she would be walking along and spontaneously break out in praise songs and others would join in. She taught all of the children in her home how to sing songs to the Lord, memorize Scripture and pray. All of Puerto Lempira remembers Marina Alastero. One life changing many lives.
Shortly thereafter, Marina found out she had uterine cancer. As she was dying, Marina encouraged her remaining sisters (5) to take all the children in, continue to encourage them in Christ and plant in all of them the seeds of education. Marina’s children then became orphans themselves.
Maritza and Leonora are two of Marina’s remaining sisters. They have made Marina’s vision a reality. They have helped raise 23 children along with some help from the other 2 sisters and 2 brothers still living. Their living situation is very humble, even by Honduras standards. They have a small wooden house and a small concrete house for almost all of the family.
The Alastero family is a talented group of children and aunts.
Additionally, each of the Alastero children has a special dream for their life.
Tinki pali (Miskito for ‘thank you’) for reading about this incredible family.