Nazareth was a small village, virtually unknown in the area of Galilee during the period of Christ. It was in this humble place that Jesus spent his youth and began a ministry of compassion and healing. When residents of Juticalpa opened the first special needs school in Olancho, they decided on a name reflective of Jesus' extraordinary childhood.
Escuelita Nazareth is a non-profit institution dedicated to offering education to youth of all ages with special needs. At Escuelita Nazareth we serve deaf students, mentally handicapped students, students with learning disabilities, and students with Down syndrome.
Our students take classes at pre-basic, basic, pre-vocational, and vocational levels (training for factory work, for example). Classes are designed to help students develop cognitive abilities and the necessary life skills required to live safe, happy and independent lives as adults.
We are more than just a school. Improving the lives of the handicapped involves reaching out to the community as well. Part of our mission is working to change the attitudes about disabled people that exist in our society. Fostering independence in our students means fighting discrimination and ensuring that equality is a concept everyone understands and respects.
We also work closely with the parents and families of our students. Family is important to Hondurans, and having a mentally disabled child adds to the stresses of daily life. Parents must learn to accept their child's disability and avoid the mistakes made by overprotecting or, in some cases, abandoning them. Escuelita Nazareth works with parents in supporting their child's autonomy by having them participate in school events and collaborate on projects.