Saturday, November 22, 2014

URGENT MESSAGE from +The Rt. Rev. Leo Frade


The transportation situation at Our Little Roses needs immediate attention. I’m afraid if we don’t replace two of our vehicles right away, we won’t be able to get the girls to school, tutoring, medical appointments and other activities.

      As a good friend of Our Little Roses, you know that we stretch every donated dollar as far as we possibly can. Your support is precious to us – and your love for the girls is one of the great blessings in their lives.

      Every day, thanks to you, most of our girls leave Our Little Roses and go out to different schools in the community that meet their individual needs and strengths. Or they attend our own Holy Family Bilingual School.

      To see these once homeless, abandoned, and abused girls going off to school and having other opportunities – finding their way toward a hopeful future – is a beautiful sight, a miracle unfolding every day because of God and because of YOU!

      But the reality is that our two vehicles are dangerously close to the point of total, irreparable breakdown. Even before our recent trip to Our Little Roses, we knew the vehicles were on borrowed time.

      We’ve kept them going through numerous rounds of repairs over hundreds of thousands of miles… but we’re at the point now where the repairs have become too costly, parts are difficult to find in Honduras, and the “band aid” approach of trying to squeeze out a few more miles in each no longer makes sense.

      I know this is an unusual request. I much prefer to tell you about our girls, their courage, their resiliency, and the incredible life-saving difference you are making in their lives.

      But this transportation matter is urgent… it’s essential to daily life here and school for the girls, and I’m praying you can help today.

      As you know, education is the only way for our girls to escape the poverty and suffering that has defined their lives up until now.

      Getting to school, to tutoring, to medical appointments and other extracurricular programs is vital to their futures… the self-worth and self-esteem that comes with going to school is transformational for girls who have known nothing but hunger, pain and neglect before God sent them to Our Little Roses.

      Right now we simply don’t have the funds to pay for two new vehicles, which will cost us a total of just under $50,000.

      I’m writing today in faith, knowing that with your compassion and the Lord watching over us, we’ll find a way to meet this challenge and every other immediate need of our girls. And as you consider a gift to help with this emergency request, I pray you’ll remember just how grateful we are for you at Our Little Roses.

      Please, will you help with the most generous contribution you can make today? Every single gift – large or small – is a blessing. God bless you for your prayers and your most compassionate help. I don’t know what we’d do without you.

+The Rt. Rev. Leo Frade
Chairman, Our Little Roses Foreign Mission Society
Bishop, Episcopal Diocese Of Southeast Florida
You can help right now by making your gift directly online at:
Simply click on the DONATE button to make your gift. In the instructions, write URGENT APPEAL.

Or mail your gift to:  OLRFMS, 525 NE 15th St. Ste 100, Miami, FL 33132.  Please make your check payable to OLRFMS and write "Urgent Appeal" in the memo.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

♫ Pequeña Rosa - Jeff Alan Ross & Mike Fitzgerald

♫ Pequeña Rosa 

Jeff Alan Ross & Mike Fitzgerald

"A positive message Latin dance song with charitable proceeds to help a home for girls in Honduras."  -- CDBaby

"Inspired by a Rosa named Paola" … the words of songwriter Bill Hill on a long flight back to LA after a one-week mission trip with the girls at Our Little Roses.
“I left Honduras with a dream -- I traveled with my sister and friends the entire trip but somehow ended up on a flight by myself from El Salvador to Los Angeles this past February. I sat there alone and wrote what would become Pequena Rosa.
“My love and HUGE appreciation to Jeff Alan Ross (played with Stevie Nicks, Chris Issacs, Paul Anka…you name it…even Steve Martin…love that) for composing such beauty and making a dream a reality.
“Special thanks to Mike Fitzgerald who was born with a gift and lent his angel-like vocals. Thanks to John Mahon (Elton John’s percussionist) who lent the beats that will make all the Rosas in the world dance. And thanks to Steve Fekete (Avril Lavigne) for the Spanish guitar that completed the song.
“I dedicate this song to all Rosas who reach for the sun, the biggest star in our sky.  I ended up on that flight alone...hmmm…sometimes, life is strangely beautiful.  Paola…I can’t wait to dance with ya next year.”
All proceeds of the downloads benefit Our Little Roses … so download away! And please share with your friends.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


La Chavas Poet in Residence Rebecca Watkins (left) with Iva Ticic

A conversation with Rebecca Watkins
Inaugural La Chavas Poet in Residence at Our Little Roses Ministries

 © Iva Ticic

Rebecca Watkins has an MFA in Poetry from the City College of New York and has taught poetry, writing and English as a Second Language at the college level for five years. She has been published in The PrometheanThe Red Mesa ReviewPoetry and Performance, and the SNReview among other literary journals. She created a women’s writing project called Writing Our Path, which supports women in writing about their tragedies, joy, and healing. Besides teaching, Rebecca is a certified Hatha Yoga instructor, has lived and volunteered on the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico, and worked on two organic farms.

I met with Rebecca at café Mogador in the Lower East Side of New York City. We sat there having brunch and swapping experiences -- her future trip and my past one intertwining. Honduras on our minds, hearts and tongues, she opened up to me about her plans and hopes for the residency to follow this December. --Iva Ticic
Iva:  To start off, tell me a little bit about how you learned about this project. What initially attracted you to Honduras and Our Little Roses?
Rebecca:  I learned about the project through Spencer [Reece] and sitting next to Spencer at a dinner party for a baptism. Actually, I was told about Spencer for a year and a half by my boyfriend who wanted me to meet him. And then it felt like fate, because we sat down next to each other and we didn’t stop talking for the whole dinner. We had so much in common and I’d told him about some of my past experiences – I’d lived and volunteered at the Navajo reservation, I’ve taught ESL, I’m a poet who has taught poetry. I was just really sharing from the heart and he starting talking about his experience in Honduras and I was so completely moved – I just started crying. And I think that maybe my crying… he said that he felt that it was a God thing, he just knew that he needed to get me there.

Iva:  That sounds so powerful. Also, I’m sure you are aware that Spencer originally spent a year with the girls. How are you hoping to follow his mission in the Home and how are you going to try and make it your own project?
Rebecca:  I’m hoping it can be a mix. I feel that – because he was there for a year – all of this is a continuation of what he started. And I would hope that it wouldn’t feel separate, it would feel like a continuing thread. The way Spencer explained it to me was that the girls’ poetry was moving; it’s about where they’re from. He also talked about their emotions about being at an orphanage. And so I was hoping that the writing would really just be about them and about Honduras, which comes up a lot in their poetry too. My role as a teacher – as a poetry teacher, writing teacher – is always to have the student access his or her own voice. That is my goal. Because, we are all rich with experiences and many people don’t even realize that they already have a voice and that they can put this on paper. The most sparse poetry, if it’s coming from the heart, can move people to change things. So my goal is to help them realize that they have a voice and that people do want to read what they are writing. So in that way I do think that it’s a continuation. The part that I would like to bring that might be a little bit of a new thing is – if they aren’t already aware of some female poets – I would like to do some introductions there. Maya Angelou is one that comes to mind.

Iva:  Of course, this is the thing that you are bringing in that Spencer could not, if just for your gender. Can you talk a little more about the things you think are most relevant to you in regards to working with young people, and in this case with these girls? 
Rebecca:  You know, I don’t have children and there’s a good chance I’m not going to have children at this point in my life. And I have so much experience, love and stability -- emotional stability -- that I can offer to others, that it would be such a blessing to even be in a situation where I could give some of that and have it be accepted. I feel a little weird about admitting this but it comes from a pretty emotional level for me. There is a longing, even if you decide not to have children, you still have the longing… It’s emotional, it’s biological, it’s spiritual. It’s not wrong and it’s not right – it doesn’t matter what you decide, but even being logical about the decision doesn’t take away that I have feelings. So I feel like I understand a part of the longing that these children feel on their end, although I’m sure my longing doesn’t even compare to their longing.

Iva:  So I hear you saying there will be an exchange of longings. With this in mind, what are some of the themes you are hoping to look into while teaching the girls and in your own writing related to the fellowship month?
Rebecca:  Hard question, but let’s start with the themes for the girls. Sometimes in beginning writing classes I don’t really push themes too much … I think creativity is a space and entity of its own so we don’t know what will happen. However, what I’ll bring and hope they can grab hold of are themes about finding their voice, probably about strength – inner strength, redeeming our circumstances through the transformation that happens when you begin to write about a difficult circumstance. At least in my experience, or some of the experiences I’ve seen of others, you write about this painful thing you’ve been through and in the writing of it, it is like you own it more and it becomes more of yours. And then suddenly you change from being a victim of that circumstance into being the owner of that circumstance and then from that comes strength. And that can happen through writing – it’s an ownership of what happened to me, what happened to them and being able to stand it. Virtually, it is: “If I can write about my story and face my story, I can own my story.”

Iva:  Are these the themes you want to explore in your writing while there too? 
Rebecca:  You know, if that comes up in my work, that’s fine. I am not really there in my life right now, because so much of my earlier writing was about my past and the things I had gone through. It’s really hard to say what I’ll explore now… I’m in my forties and everything is very different for me now, the world feels like a different place. So for me, I’m assuming it will be something about the next phase of my life, what it means for me to be more of a woman than I’ve ever been. And what does that mean in my work? I’m definitely shifting and coming into a different phase, and I haven’t really written a lot in this new phase because it’s very new. So I’m excited! I really have no idea.

Iva:  As a writer, what do you expect to gain from this experience? And on the other side of that coin – as a teacher – what are you hoping to offer the girls?
Rebecca:  The first part about being a writer, I can’t predict that at all. I feel like creativity is an entity of its own. It’s a world you step into where anything can happen… I can tell you that in my experience, my poems have been very rooted in place. By that I mean that when I’m volunteering somewhere or living somewhere – the people, the experiences, the land, everything is in my poetry; lots of imagery and description. So I can only guess, just because of my style, that Honduras and the girls and somehow their stories will end up intermingling with my story and my experience while I’m there.
As for the second part of the question, I think there are many gifted teachers in the world. There are so many and I don’t think I’m necessarily any different but one thing I know that I can bring to the table is that I’m passionate about self-expression, I am involved with poetry so that I will hope and try to show and instill that in them. If I can show them what poetry can do in their lives, this could be an opening. And you never know what’s going to “stick”, but you can always hope that somebody could walk away from that experience saying “Wow, I can write poetry and I didn’t even know that I could.” So that’s my hope.

Iva:  To go back to your experience in the Navajo Reservation – how do you think this experience will be similar or different from that one? What do you expect from the immersion into Honduran culture?
Rebecca:  Well, the first difference is going to be the language barrier. In the Navajo reservation, a lot of the natives spoke Navajo and English. The young people I encountered there were all speaking English and, unfortunately, leaving their language behind. So the language barrier will be different, although I do teach ESL so I understand some Spanish and I studied a lot of Spanish when I was younger. The other difference would be it being a different country, of course. Whatever preconceived notions we all have about each other and each other’s countries coming in. I had to deal with that in the Navajo reservation even more so, because of the history there. There were a lot of times that I heard derogatory things about my Caucasian race and what we did… but I didn’t take that personally. 

Iva:  I would imagine this was possibly even harder than what you might encounter in Honduras in regards to resistance. 
Rebecca:  Yes, I hope so. But let’s talk about the positive. I think the challenges that come with it – I mean you know this, you’ve moved to another country –when you put yourself in a situation where you’re the minority and you need to learn about someone else’s culture and respect the culture and be very aware that you are the outsider coming in; it’s just such a creative experience of everyday life that it shifts something in you.

Iva:  Oh yes, the positive far outweighs the negative. As poets and writers we are called to bridge that void, it’s why we’re here talking today! I have just one more question for you. As a young woman who has also recently gone to Our Little Roses, I have to ask you:  What are the reactions of your friends and family to do with this trip you are venturing on?
Rebecca:  Ha, everyone has been very supportive. I think my family thinks I’m a little crazy, but they’ve always thought that, so it’s okay. And my boyfriend, I think it does worry him, but he also knows that I will be very cautious and safe. My family and my boyfriend know, too, that when I make up my mind, I’m not gonna change it. And of course I’ll be safe and smart.

Iva:  The best of luck to you, Rebecca, and I will make sure to check in with you once you are back!

Editor’s Note:   Rebecca Watkins is the inaugural La Chavas Poet in Residence at Our Little Roses Ministries. Our Little Roses Ministries is a non-governmental organization (NGO) in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, dedicated to rescuing the girl child of Honduras from situations of risk.


ONLY THROUGH EDUCATION can we break the cycle of poverty for our girls at Our Little Roses, San Pedro Sula, Honduras.

You can help by making a gift online to our Education Fund. Help us reach our goal to raise $50,000 to educate our girls. YOU CAN MAKE A GIFT NOW fast and easy directly online at:

Friday, August 1, 2014

BACK TO WORK FOR SANTA'S ELVES… and Back to School for Our Little Roses

Believe it or not, it's time for Santa's Elves to go to work -- and it's also almost time for our girls attending Holy Family Bilingual School to head back to school. First day back is Aug. 25th!

So Santa's Elves, we need you to start shopping -- and start shipping -- your Christmas gifts to Miami so they can be loaded into Santa's bags and begin their journey to his Christmas workshop in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Let's make sure we have LOTS of gifts for ALL our girls on Christmas morning.

Or, you can send a contribution to purchase Christmas gifts for the girls -- no more than $50 per girl. Just send your tax-deductible contribution to OLRFMS, 525 NE 15th St., Ste 100, Miami, FL 33132-1411.

And for those of you who are already taking advantage of those fabulous back-to-school specials, how about picking up some back-to-school supplies for all of our girls at Our Little Roses. Just put them in a box and send them to OLRFMS in Miami. We'll be sure they get to Our Little Roses Ministries in Honduras. 

School/Education Supplies:
  • White board marker pens (black, red, blue)
  • Scissors (large and small)
  • Color pens for drawings
  • Marker pens (variety of colors)
  • Colored construction paper
  • Large-sized backpacks
  • Classroom decorations such as borders for bulletin boards
  • Charts & maps: Science, chemistry, physics, history, world history, music
  • Diplomas in different sizes & styles for rewards, recognitions, attendance
  • Teacher materials/supplies (scissors, calculators, transparent & masking tape
  • Thumbtacks, rulers, yardsticks

Or, if you would like to make a special Back-to-School gift, click here and go directly to our Donate page:

NOTE:  Please do not send notebook paper, spiral binders or books. They are too heavy for our courier to carry on the plane.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Our Little Roses Foreign Mission Society Moves to Miami

Dear Friends,

We want you to be the first to know that Our Little Roses Foreign Mission Society, the U.S.-based 501(c)(3) whose mission is to increase support and awareness for Our Little Roses Ministries in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, has moved to Miami.

Here's our new address and contact information:

  Our Little Roses Foreign Mission Society Inc.
  525 NE 15th St., Suite 100
  Miami, FL  33132-1411
  Ph:  305.401.0378
  Fx:  305.375.8054

Let me also introduce myself. In November, following Beverley Allison's unexpected passing, Bishop Leo Frade, chairman, and the board of directors of OLRFMS asked me to serve as Acting Executive Director of OLRFMS to ensure that the important work of securing support for Our Little Roses Ministries in Honduras continued.

Our efforts these last several months have focused on relocating the office to Miami with the planned sale of the property on which the offices were located. We ask your patience and understanding as we move through this transition. Please feel free to call or email us if you have any questions.

At the same time, we also say goodbye and thank-you to Betty Lou Roberts and Joanne Matthews, who worked closely with Beverley and served OLRFMS for 13 and 19 years, respectively. Both have done a tremendous job over the years and have worked especially hard these last several months to prepare the Virginia office for closing and moving to Miami.

Joining me in Miami as Development Services Manager is Katrina Davey. You can reach her at 305.401.0378 or at Katrina brings a wealth of experience from her years at United Way-Miami and, most recently, Friends of Trinity Cathedral, Miami.

Finally, as we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Diana Frade's founding of Our Little Roses in San Pedro Sula, the board of OLRFMS has adopted several goals intended to secure a strong financial foundation for Our Little Roses Ministries -- expanding the number of sponsors, increasing general support and expanding the number of regional special events. Each of these goals ultimately ensures a secure financial foundation to meet the ongoing and pressing needs and services of the ministry -- and the girls.

Words are not enough to thank you for your support. I look forward to working with you in the months and years ahead as together we continue to support the vital work of Our Little Roses Ministries in Honduras.

God's peace and blessings!

Cheryl D. Chapman, PhD
Acting Executive Director
Our Little Roses Foreign Mission Society, Inc.
525 NE 15th St., Suite 100
Miami, FL 33132-1411
Ofc:  305.401.0378
Cell: 786.556.5156 
Fax: 305.375.8054

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

OLRM Run for the Roses!

Thanks to the Newport Beach, CA and Southwest Airlines crew and friends for another amazingly successful Run for Our Little Roses, which has now raised over $20,000 for Our Little Roses. Above is their Run for the Roses with the girls in San Pedro Sula, Honduras.