Students check out their new seventh grade classrooms.

Last year, more than 50 children were unable to attend school in Ocotillo. As the population of the garbage dump community grows, so do the needs at International Samaritan’s School. Without an education, the children will have few choices; many will end up working in the garbage dump the rest of their lives. 

Wilmur Antonio Pared, vice mayor of Ocotillo, confirms that many of the scavengers are children between the ages of 10 and 14. He estimates that 16 have died in recent years after getting run over by bulldozers. 
“The new classrooms will give the children of Ocotillo a real chance at a life outside of working at the garbage dump,” said Carmen Martinez, school principal, who was thrilled with the finished rooms. “This will be a huge advantage for these kids.” 
The average level of education in Honduras is sixth grade. I.S. is planning to build new eighth grade classrooms next year and ninth grade classrooms in 2013. We are currently looking for funding for the two new eighth grade classrooms. The school is also in need of donations for supplies, desks, books, and the school lunch program. To donate, go here or call 734-222-0701. 
 I.S. is looking for high school and university groups to partner with on this project. Please contact to learn more about volunteering in 2012.

The classroom plaque commemorates all of the volunteer groups who helped with the construction this year. It reads: Special thanks to the volunteers who came from the U.S., Gannon University, Pennsylvania; Kappa Alpha Order, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio; St. Charles Preparatory School, Ohio; University of Detroit High School, Michigan.

Matt Ippel, I.S. trip leader, is pictured with San Pedro Sula Mayor Dr. Juan Carlos Zuniga at the classroom dedication. Ippel described the dedication as “a very emotional event for a lot of us.” Volunteer Katherine Major-Campsie said, “I felt like we were a part of something very special for the people [of Ocotillo].”