Our History

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OYE was founded in 2005 by Ana Luisa Ahern, Jessica Mockrin and Justin Eldridge Otero, inspired by a vision of society where young people have a powerful voice, knowledge and tools to inspire change in their lives and communities. From the beginning, our founders recognized that OYE's sustainability and success would depend on the development of strong and capable local leadership.


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After living several years of their childhoods in Honduras and volunteering during the summers throughout their adolescent years with children and young people in El Progreso, Ana Luisa and Justin of Washington, D.C. witnessed the challenges facing young people in Honduras. Upon graduating from college and joined by Jessica Mockrin, they returned to Honduras in 2005 to start a scholarship program to help five young women go to college.

The following year, they were selected as YouthActionNet Fellows of the International Youth Foundation. Recognizing that access to formal education was just the beginning, they designed an integral program to engage young people outside the classroom, creating spaces to promote leadership and learning and take action to build a better future in and for their country.

In line with our founders' belief in youth and community-led development, young and capable Hondurans assumed leadership of the organization just three years after our foundation.


What We Do


OYE empowers disadvantaged young people to break cycles of poverty and lead change in their families and communities. We envision a society where young people enjoy their rights and contribute to equitable and sustainable development in Honduras.


Since 2005, OYE has awarded multi-year high school and university scholarships to over 450 economic and socially disadvantaged young people to continue their education; and led diverse youth-led, school and community-based initiatives that have empowered thousands of young people, parents, teachers and community leaders in El Progreso and beyond.




Where We Work


In the heart of Central America, Honduras is rich in natural beauty, with expansive green highlands, picturesque colonial towns and crystalline Caribbean beaches.

Honduras, meaning "great depths" in Spanish, is also the most unequal and one of the most impoverished countries in Latin America, where 65% of people live in poverty and 42% in extreme poverty. In 2009, Honduras suffered a political crisis that further deepened inequality and violence.

Since then, pervasive corruption, political and social crises - paired with 2020's coronavirus pandemic and hurricanes Eta and Iota - have devastated people and communities across the country. These crises disproportionately impact people living in poverty - especially children, young people, women and other marginalized groups.


68%


of young people from ages 15 to 17 are not enrolled in high school (grades 10+). They are either not in school or enrolled at a lower level. Once a young person drops out of school, (s)he is unlikely to return.


1 in 4


girls and young women from ages 15 to 19 have been pregnant at least once. This reality is closely tied to poverty and lack of education. Girls who are out of school are much more likely to marry and have children early.


56%


increase in returned migrants from Honduras from January to June 2018, as compared to the same six-month period during 2017. This was before the first of several major migrant caravans that originated in Honduras in late 2018 and continue in the present.






Our Team


Meet our incredible team of staff and youth leaders! We are so proud to share that four members of our full-time staff, marked with a next to their name, are alumni of our scholarship program.


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Rocío Mendoza

Executive Director


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Amanda Hall

Development + Partnerships Coordinator


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Dunia Perdomo

Projects Coordinator


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Annie Martínez

Administrator


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David Merlos

Communications Coordinator


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Diana Ruíz

Counselor + Scholarship Coordinator


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Fany Montoya

Programs Coordinator


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FernandoFernández

Entrepreneurship Coordinator


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Oscar Alvarado

Administrative Assistant


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Trinidad Castillo

Special Collaborator


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Anderson Chávez

Youth Leader, Sexuality, Gender + Masculinity


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Ángel Rodríguez

Youth Leader, Sexuality, Gender + Masculinity


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Astrid López

Youth Leader, Communications + Storytelling


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Claudia Camacho

Youth Leader, Sports


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Francis Martínez

Youth Leader, Sexuality, Gender + Masculinity


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Julissa Alvarado

Receptionist


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Junior Rodríguez

Youth Leader, Graphic Design


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Karol López

Youth Leader, Communications + Storytelling


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Meulin Ferrufino

Youth Leader, Education


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Soany Centeno

Youth Leader, Art



Our Board of Directors


Amílcar Chinchilla|   President
Mary Patricia Ahern|   Member
Justin Eldridge Otero|   Co-Founder + Member
Barbara Myers|   Member
Dacia Ramirez|   Member
Keyla Canales|   Member
Ruth Varela|   Member
Suyapa Ayestas|   Member



Our Partners + Allies


  • Inter-American Foundation Logo
  • Global Fund for Children Logo
  • Strachan Foundation Logo
  • Summit Foundation Logo
  • Tinker Foundation Logo
  • MeWe International Logo
  • Rise Up Logo
  • Shared Studios Logo
  • Inter-American Foundation Logo
  • Global Fund for Children Logo
  • Strachan Foundation Logo
  • Summit Foundation Logo
  • Canada World Youth Logo
  • GENDES Logo
  • MenEngage Alliance Logo
  • Public Welfare Foundation Logo
  • University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Logo
  • American University Logo
  • Alcaldia Municipal de El Progreso Logo
  • Banco de Occidente Logo
  • Canada World Youth Logo
  • GENDES Logo
  • MenEngage Alliance Logo
  • Public Welfare Foundation Logo

And every single one of our donors, volunteers and supporters who generously give their time, voices and resources - and without whom none of this would be possible. We can't thank them – or you – enough!