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Caring and Compassion. Tenacity and Optimism. Believing you CAN make a difference and change a life. These are words that describe Rebecca and Leah Maesato, a local Utah mother and daughter team that have a vision for providing gifts of affection, inspiration, consistency, cooperation, time, and love through humanitarian work in third world countries. The Maesato's story is intriguing.

You may have already seen the documentary on KSL News telling of the Maesato's endeavor in Haiti and the obstacles they have triumphantly overcome. In 2002, Rebecca and Leah, who was only 19 at the time, willingly sold their car, home, and small business, moved to Haiti, and began working with hundreds of abandoned and abused children. Eight of these children have since been welcomed into the Maesato family: Junior, Yonel, Eden, Alies, Rosemond, Jocelyn, Sammy and Dieuribon. Eight strong, intelligent and upright Haitian boys who are now part of a household receiving education. These boys are receiving religion, skill training, and more importantly, love and guidance.

Turbulence in the government and violent uprisings have become an everyday occurrence in Haiti, and the danger has escalated. Although there is still an unbounded need for caring individuals, Rebecca and Leah felt it was time to move the family - increased now by 8 - to a place where progression and growth could take place, and where they and the boys could continue humanitarian projects Honduras seemed to be a good fit. In January of 2005, Amigos of Honduras funded their travels, including visas, passports, and airline tickets, to relocate all ten from Haiti, through the United States, to Comoyagua Honduras. It is a country that is not without its own set of problems. However, it is a substantial increase in quality of life and opportunities, and a country that would accept the boys with Rebecca as their legal guardian.

Corruptness and ridiculous demands from Haitian officials made it almost impossible to leave. Against all odds, the family was finally able to move (fled?) to Honduras where the boys now have a fresh start, a brighter future, and a new chance at life. The family is assimilating nicely into the Honduran culture. A local unemployed school teacher has been hired by Amigos to privately teach the boys. They are learning mathematics, geography, history and most importantly, Spanish. Dax, the teacher, speaks no English or French (their native language). Their Spanish is improving rapidly. Rebecca and Leah are also learning Spanish.

The four younger boys, Yonel, Alies, Eden and Dieusibon are working hard to be able to enter public school in Comagyagua. In a few months they will be able to do that, as their Spanish continues to improve. The older boys, Sammy, Junior, Jocelyn and Rosemond are preparing to leave on Spanish speaking LDS church missions. They are looking at getting their mission calls in the November or December time frame.

Three of our volunteers on the board at Amigos recently returned from visiting the boys. Dave Riley, Charlie Parker and Mike Burton had the privilege of meeting and interacting with the boys. It is hard to even image that two short years ago these boys were living on the street of Haiti as orphans. Rebecca and Leah have done a wonderful job with the boys. They are wonderful, hard-working teen age boys that are very easy to be around.

Amigos of Honduras is funding the living expenses of Rebecca, Leah and the eight boys until they are able to develop a business to fund their living expenses. They are currently doing a business plan for a possible bread baking business that looks very promising. Your financial support for this project would be most appreciated. Click here to donate to the Haiti to Honuras project.