Our educational programs are outreaches of local churches to their communities. As with all of our programs, the services offered are a gesture of love and no religious affiliation is required to be blessed by the program. The only requirement for enrollment is to have legitimate need.
Early Childhood Development Centers (ECDC)
All of the children the ECDC’s receive a Christian education as well as two meals a day. Mission Lazarus currently operates 4 centers in the San Marcos de Colon area.
We provide a basic education as well as a practical trade that provides tangible benefits for the students' families and its future generations. Students complete a primary education through a government approved program and vocational education through sewing, shoemaking, leather-smithing, and carpentry.
Education Center (MLEC) - Haiti
Opening in the fall of 2014, the MLEC was created as a response to the overwhelming amount of orphanages in Haiti. Partnering with mothers who cannot provide for their children, the MLEC will be an option for children instead of being left at orphanages across the country.
Early Childhood Development Centers
All of the children the ECDC’s receive a Christian education as well as two meals a day. For some children the education offered through the ECDC is their only exposure to formal learning, while other children attend local public schools in the morning or afternoon and arrive at the ECDC the rest of the time where they receive invaluable tutoring, Bible teachings, and a nutritious meal.
Even though Duyure is located only 20 miles from the paved PanAmerican Highway, the journey to arrive there takes over an hour. The dirt road, headed seemingly to nowhere, crosses some of the most majestic mountain ridges you’ll ever see and then the valley where Duyure is located comes into view. This isolated community is plagued with poverty due to the lack of employment and educational opportunities. The ECDC in Duyure is located on the grounds of the church fills an enormous void in this community through the education of some 100 children.
San Marcos de Colon
San Marcos de Colon is a beautiful small town of about 10,000. The colonial architecture, narrow streets, and beautiful central park deceive one to feel like this town is blessed with wealth. However, hidden just a few blocks off of the main paved roads exists a poverty that is alarming. Located only a few miles from the Nicaraguan border far away from larger commercial centers San Marcos’ undereducated population survives largely on day work in the many large cattle ranches in the region. The work is hard and pay is miserable and the children are the innocent victims of these circumstance. The ECDC in San Marcos de Colon fills in the enormous gaps that so many families are plagued with. With up to 150 children this facility is a well-known and well respected piece of the local community.
Ciudad Nueva, a community of some 15,000 did not exist before Hurricane Mitch devastated much of the city of Choluteca. Designed as a planned community for hurricane victims Ciudad Nueva quickly became the largest slum in the region. Unemployment, a lack of clean water, gang activity, and an overwhelmed public school are just a few of the obstacles that the parents of Ciudad Nueva are faced with. The church in Ciudad Nueva fills an enormous void by providing not only a Christian education and nutritious meals to the children that attend the ECDC but also a very important safe place where the many single mothers can feel confident that their children are being taken care of. The ECDC in Ciudad Nueva has been the number one catalyst for church growth in this community.
Located on the coastal plain near the Pacific Ocean boast of economic stability due to the many large sugar cane and melon farms in the area as well as two large sugar cane refineries and numerous nearby shrimp farms. And for the owners and upper level management these industries have proven quite lucrative, however for the workers who bring in the harvest life is often times miserable. Dependent on the seasons, the rains, and unfortunately the often droughts, the workers who make these industries move suffer literally feast or famine. Children are often times left to scavenge culled melons, crabs in the mangrove swamps, or to hunt the numerous small animals that call the cane fields their homes. The ECDC in Monjaras has brought stability to many families by ensuring that their children, regardless of the family's economic situation, will be able to start school but also stay in school. The added blessing of two meals a day helps provide valuable nourishment for the rapidly developing minds of the 100 some children who arrive daily for school.
In 2002 the first Mission Lazarus vocational schools open offering carpentry and sewing free of charge to communities being served by local churches. The vocational school program is a two year program that is designed to equip students with a trade that will allow them to provide for themselves or at the very least subsidize their family's income.
Due to the remote location of our carpentry, boot making and leather-working schools all of the students earn a daily stipend that allows them to stay in school. Most of these young men would have to work in the fields to help support their families, but providing these young men with a daily stipend they are empowered to learn a trade that can quite possible reshape the future of the family. The poverty is what drives children to have to quit school and work and it’s the same lack of education that promotes the unending poverty. All of the young men in the carpentry, boot making, and leather working schools are offered the opportunity to finish their secular education up to junior high school through our own private school program that works alongside the trade schools. Some students, as old as 14, have been able to start over in second grade and learn to read and write.
Focused on a demographic that does not have the resources to buy manufactured furniture in a store or hire someone to build to the rafters and roof on the new house or barn a carpenter can always find work. In the areas where Mission Lazarus serves the carpenter can often times earn far more money than a teacher at a public school. The young men who attend the carpentry learn to make very fine pieces of furniture as well as the everyday skills need to make doors, gates, and roof trusses.
Located in Ciudad Nueva and in San Marcos de Colon the Mission Lazarus sewing schools focus on women who due to life’s circumstances were never fortunate enough to learn a trade. In a culture where all schools, public and private, require a uniform there is never a shortage of work for a seamstress. A woman who has a trade that will provide income for herself and her children is also provided with the ability to transform her family’s legacy. A woman in a developing nation without a trade or education is often times forced to do deplorable things in order to provide for herself and her family. It is our hope that our sewing schools slow, if not stop all together, the snowballing effect that poverty can have on a woman and her children.
Boot Making School
Since the boot making school is located in a community that depends on ranching there is always a demand for cowboy boots, work boots, and boot repair. The vast majority of the population of working class people in Honduras is far more likely to repair their shoes and boots rather than to buy a new pair so a trade in boot making and repair will always be able to provide much needed income. The young men in the boot making school start out learning to make simple leather work shoes and by graduation can make a nice pair of all leather cowboy boots.
Leather Working School
Saddles, bridles, and halters are every day necessities in the communities served by our leather working school but that’s not all that our young men learn. By the time their two years of learning are up they can also make very ornate hand tooled belts, shoulder bags, any many other custom leather accessories. The leather workman’s skills are always in high demand in the rural Honduras. The students of the leather working school earn an income by making products for the Mission Lazarus Social Enterprise.
Meet the Team