Honduran Paper: Young People, Fleeing Neglected Schools, Head for U.S.

By Jerry Kammer on July 22, 2014

The Honduran newspaper El Heraldo has just published a story about schools so badly neglected by the Honduran government that they are increasingly abandoned by young people, who then choose to go to the United States:

NACAOME — Children who are absent because they are going to the United States have become a sort of epidemic battering most of the schools in communities along the border with El Salvador. There has always been an occasional case of a child leaving school, but this year the situation has reached such an extreme that in some schools the teachers fear their classrooms will end up completely empty.

Here, many of the children are leaving school not only to join their parents in North America, but also to escape their fear that the roofs of classrooms could cave in on them. They are tired of going to class in conditions so hostile to learning.

The Basic Educational Center, Doctor Ramon Rosa, in the community of El Zapote, where 14 children left school just in the first half of May, offers an example. The teachers say it is evidence of the government's failure to care for children.


Visitors here become indignant as they see how the future of a community and a country is shaped in basic schools like this. Here students hold up their desk with one hand, while writing with the other. Meanwhile, the teachers look for the largest remaining piece of blackboard so they can conduct class. In the summer the heat saps the energy of students. In the winter the teachers have to take children out of some classrooms for fear that the badly decayed ceiling will fall in on them.


While the government talks of creating disincentives for migration and caring for the needs of those who are returned, the reality presents a stark contrast to such talk. Many schools are so forgotten and in conditions so depressing that they create an environment that pushes people to drop out at rates that have become alarming in communities up and down the border.

El Zapote is a community where people come and go in their attempt to reach the United States. Here the number of deported people is so large that they have even formed their own soccer team, which adds more members each week.