Faces of Honduras

As we conclude 2017, all of us here at Step Up For Honduras hope you and your families have had a wonderful holiday season. We are so grateful for your support and generosity this year which has enabled us to accomplish so much this year.

Ernie Valle Receives Award for Church Restoration

Ernie Valle Receives Award for Historic Church Restoration

Ernie Valle and Step Up are Honored by The Mayor and City of El Corpus, Honduras (VIDEO)

My returning trip to Honduras was pleasantly different. Every trip has been extraordinary and quite adventurous, but this trip really made me feel a part of their community and incredibly welcomed. Although I love the town of El Corpus and its’ people, the extreme hot weather and lack of the everyday comforts we’re used to in the U.S., definitely make it a bit challenging. Walking through town I often noticed the locals sitting as they do daily, on the stairs of an empty Historic Catholic Church that was forced to close because they deemed it unsafe after an earthquake in Nicaragua had damaged it in late 2016. Usually there’s also a strong presence of babies and children, which until this trip, I rarely saw playing and having fun. Maybe it’s too hot to play? Maybe they don’t have toys or games to play with? Maybe they don’t have sports or hobbies to attend to or homework to work on? As I ponder their lifestyle as a parent, I realize to not make judgments. Every person I have ever met in El Corpus has been incredibly nice, polite, and humble. These people have no resources, yet they do the best they possibly can to help each other out.

I have heard Social Media is: “The Innovation of world marketing and outreach”. Connection with all walks of life including: Age, Ethnicity, Nationality, Religion, Denomination, Gender, Class, etc. It became clear to me that I need to help, it turned into a “mission”. I was going to create a foundation, the main purpose being to help children and communities. It also became increasingly clear that I would need to seek help using social media. I need help from people. People all around the world, Old and young, rich and poor. I would also need more talent, time, and treasures. Every single trip I have made to Honduras I always advertise and post pictures to share with the world. And I pray that every picture I personally take and post will hit someone’s heart hard enough that they will ask themselves: “How can I help?”

Knowing the condition the Church was in, I felt a sense of responsibility to do something considering I have vowed to help in any way possible. Restoration of the Historical Church was a complete blessing in disguise.

Knowing the condition the Church was in, I felt a sense of responsibility to do something considering I have vowed to help in any way possible. Restoration of the Historical Church was a complete blessing in disguise. People of El Corpus and different towns all around the world reached out to me through social media! Asking how they can help and contribute. Contractors were assigned to finish the Church restoration before Christmas and work around the clock relentlessly to obtain their goal. A camera man was assigned to gather progress footage each day and send it to me so I can see the results. The Cardinal of the Catholic Church sent a Priest to give a special mass for the new opening of the Church which happened to be on Christmas Eve! The local people had quadrupled in size that night. Their clothing was impeccable, shoes straight out the box it seemed, I was so happy to see all these beautiful hard working people enjoy their family, friends, community, and celebration at Mass.

My return to Honduras was pleasantly different. I returned to El Corpus, entered a beautiful restored Church full of flowers. Flowers that were fresh, flowers that were worn. Candles that were lit with prayer, and candles that showed melted wax and plenty of use. Children were playing tag outside. Women were cooking traditional street food outside and selling it. A brand new Italian pizza restaurant opened! The very first restaurant in El Corpus and it was full! I think my favorite part of this day was walking up a steep rocky-dirt road and finding the professional soccer team playing a soccer game. All the kids and families were watching, and you could feel how the children looked up to them and honored them as successful athletes. A woman, also a teacher, had personally invited us to her home and cooked us lunch.

To see children playing, families gathering, businesses opening…this truly felt like a whole different town then the past times I had been there.

The restoration of this Church was much more than a Religious act of kindness. The restoration of this Church felt like the coming together of community. To see children playing, families gathering, businesses opening…this truly felt like a whole different town then the past times I had been there. They community and it officials were very appreciative of the restoration and invited myself and my wife to a festival. While I was attending, I was called over by Mayor Luis Andres Ruiz to accept an award of appreciation and recognition for making an honest effort to help. I was and still am honored and happy to be accepted by the people of El Corpus.

“All are welcome” is the famous saying at Church, and that is exactly what happened. Thank you to those who donated and please we NEED your help severely for our NEXT mission! COMING JULY 2017!
A PARK! Stay tuned as we will update the exact location and dollars needed to build a playground structure for the children to play and simply be kids.

Thank you for reading, please share with your friends and family members. And remember: Every dollar given is a tax deduction with a receipt provided! Please help us raise money to build a safe place where children can play and families can gather.

Many Blessings, Ernie Valle.



Our Meeting with the First Lady of Honduras

Step Up and Ana Rosalinda Garcia de Hernandez discuss a beautiful potential future for Honduras

We were incredibly honored to meet with the First Lady of Honduras, Ana Rosalinda Garcia de Hernandez. She graciously gave us her time so we could discuss with her our mission, the needs of her country, and how to make things happen. The First Lady’s compassion for the people of Honduras is beyond inspirational! She is a true advocate for all, but particularly focused on helping young children, women, the elderly, and the disabled. We both agreed that now is the time to implement change! It was a wonderful, compelling visit and we thank her from the bottom of our hearts! God bless her and may we ALL work together to help those in need!

Meeting with Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga

An Enlightening Dinner and Discussion with Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga

Meeting with an Archbishop to discuss our goals for Honduras

Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga is the current Archbishop of Tegucigalpa and President of Caritas Internationalis. In addition to his episcopal responsibilities, he is the President of the Episcopal Conference of Honduras and one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI. You can’t imagine how thrilled we were when he accepted our invitation for dinner and discussion! What an honor and privilege it was to be able to sit down with this amazing man and exchange stories of hope with one another. The passion he has for his work is eye-opening and inspiring; our hearts are forever changed. We not only thank the Cardinal for his time, but for his remarkable words of wisdom, kindness, and concern.