Aben Claros Hernández
Los Pinos, Honduras
Aben is a native Honduran and engineer who found his call to service in the neighborhood of Los Pinos, a slum community in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Aben visited the community frequently and began to notice that parents, many of whom worked as street cleaners and vendors, often left their children home alone all day because they could not afford to send them to school. These children were easy targets for illicit activities and vulnerable to the gangs that plagued their neighborhood.
Aben decided to leverage his engineering experience to build a school for the children of Los Pinos not only to keep them safe, but also to help them reach their potential and break the cycle of poverty. The project began modestly with a three-room, window-less and door-less facility run by volunteer teachers and aids. Shortly after founding the school, Aben was able to create a formal nonprofit organization to manage its operations: Asociacion Un Paso, also known as “The Rock” of the community.
Aben’s school has since grown to be a thriving academic center serving children between the ages of 4 and 18. The school has a functional kitchen that provides meals to all students, a shower facility to give students the opportunity to bathe regularly, and a unique curriculum that includes elective classes like English and carpentry. The site also hosts soccer clinics for community children on Saturdays.
In 2012, MNSF decided to join Aben’s movement to educate the youth of Los Pinos. Our grant to “The Rock” provided enough funding to cover the costs of paying all the volunteer teachers a salary for the length of the academic year. We are proud to have been the first foundation to support Aben’s work in Honduras.