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Stories written by Shelley Callahan

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Excelling in San Pedro Sula

At the Maria Reyna home, children from impoverished backgrounds are excellent students

Honduras’s industrial center and second-largest city, San Pedro Sula, has a reputation for being dangerous. Deemed the “murder capital of the world” for almost a decade until 2016, crime and economic distress have led to the mass migration of Honduran minors seeking safety from gangs and drug-related violence. But for those children who have no choice but to stay behind and face danger and violence, places such as our affiliated project the Maria Reyna Home […]

A Blooming School in El Salvador

Escuela Santa Luisa’s improved school buildings are impressive

Abundant in rivers, lakes and fertile, tropical farmland, El Salvador’s natural beauty traverses a vast central plateau bordered by Pacific coastal plains to the south and rugged mountains to the north. For centuries, several Mesoamerican nations called this land home, including the Lenca, Olmec, Maya and Pipil/Cutcatlec. “Santa Luisa is blooming. They have added new classrooms for the children. There were new labs for skills training programs, and a small kitchen was built as well,” […]

Understanding Colombia

What you might not know about

Situated in the northwestern corner of South America, Colombia is rich in natural beauty, comprising rugged Andean mountains, lowland plains, sprawling Amazon rainforest and coastline on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Archeological evidence suggests that humans have called this land home for thousands of years. Its modern history begins at the end of the 15th century, when Christopher Columbus and the first Spanish explorers arrived in the region, subsequently establishing the area’s […]

A State of the Art School

The new Crum PreK-8 School replaces two older schools in West Virginia

Wayne County lies nestled amid the vast natural beauty of the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia and is home to the small town of Crum. In recent years, mining companies have been forced to lay off workers or shut down altogether, and unemployment in this region has risen dramatically. Crum was once a bustling community with a vibrant economy, bolstered by the now-struggling coal mining industry. In recent years, mining companies have been forced to […]

A Small School with a Family Atmosphere

Jones Fork Elementary School students benefit academically from the support they receive at school

Jones Fork Elementary School — which began as a one-room schoolhouse and was expanded in 1964 to accommodate more children — is located in Knott County, Kentucky in the small community of Mousie. Deb mentioned to Renée how proud she is of her students doing well in school despite their impoverished backgrounds and how willing they are to help fellow students as though they were all one big family. The smallest school in the county, […]

Insufficient Food for Growing Kids

Many children at Cannonsburg Elementary School rely on the school’s weekend feeding program

As the name suggests, Cannonsburg Elementary is located in the isolated and rural town of Cannonsburg, Kentucky in Boyd County. Like many of Kentucky’s Eastern Coal Field communities, Cannonsburg has suffered dramatically from the decline of the coal mining industry. At the height of the coal operations, Boyd County was an essential and active port city for the transport of coal along the Ohio River. Today, many of its residents live in abject poverty. Illiteracy […]