The Central Honduras Education Fund University Staff and Scholars

Central Honduras Education Fund Staff (In-country)

Saira Corizza Urquia Raudales

Saira and Aaron

Saira and Aaron

Saira Raudales became the first university graduate in the history of her hometown, El Ocotal, Honduras. Saira graduated with a degree in Journalism, and has already published several articles in Honduras’ leading online newspaper, Hondudiario ( While her long-term goal is to work as a journalist, Saira has accepted a paid position with the Fund as a Field Coordinator while she looks for a permanent journalism position. As Field Coordinator, Saira will oversee our program on the ground, act as a liaison between Fund Staff and Scholars, and focus on training future coordinators. We are also happy to report that Saira has become a mentor to Andrea Benitez, who we believe will benefit greatly from Saira’s support and guidance.




Central Honduras Education Fund Scholars  (Current)

Mabela Andrea Benitez Herrera

Mabela Andrea Benitez Herrera

Andrea graduated in 2011 from the Mixed Institute Pedro Nufio in Tegucigalpa, completing teaching practicum along the way. Andrea began her college studies in August of 2012 at the National Autonomous University of Honduras. Andrea was recently accepted into the electrical engineering program and hopes to graduate in 2018! She has also taken on the responsibility of Student Coordinator for The Central Honduras Education Fund, overseeing the progress of 5 of our Joe Martens high school scholars who live in and around, Zambrano, Francisco Morazan. We are blessed to have Andrea as a part of our Central Honduras Education Fund family.




Delcin Marilyn Raudales Urquia

Delcin Marilyn Raudales_2011


Marilyn is from the town of El Ocotal. She is a single mother from a large family of five brothers and two sisters. Marilyn began the first of a two-year nursing program in 2012, thanks to a generous donation by the Lake Lotawana Community UMC. She is on track to graduate in 2014, at which point she will work as a nurse near El Ocotal. Additionally, Marilyn has taken on a support role to Andrea and Saira, our Student Coordinators. Upon graduating from her nursing program, she plans to return to her hometown and work as a Community Nurse.




Central Honduras Education Fund Scholars (Former)

Denia Benitez

Denia and her daughter Susan

2009 was an extremely challenging year for the Central Honduras Education Fund administrators and Scholars alike. In April, a tragedy took place that will remain in the hearts and minds of all of us for many years to come. Denia Benitez, a mother of two beautiful children, the Central Honduras Education Fund’s first Scholar and a dedicated hard working student, at the age of 29, passed away. After hearing the news, Mike, David and Aaron traveled to Honduras and were present for the funeral service. Needless to say, friends and family of Denia were, and continue to be, inconsolable.

Denia was to begin a teaching internship in her home town in the coming months, and was entering her fourth year of university. Her death serves as a reminder to us that we must live and love each day we are here, and that we must continue to encourage and support each other the best that we can.


Walter Durón Meza

Walter singing a ranchera

The Central Honduras Education Fund’s second Scholar, Walter Durón Meza, began his university career in Accounting. After completing a successful spring semester, Walter tragically  lost his father to cancer. He courageously accepted a series of new roles of at home, but when his sister was struck soon after with a serious illness and hospitalized over several weeks, Walter’s family duties became increasingly demanding. A week later, Walter called us and let us know that he had made the difficult decision to withdrawal from the school to tend to his sister and help provide for his family. He hopes to one day return to finish his degree, and we are holding a place open for him when the time is right for him to do so.

Rather than interpreting these tragedies as obstacles, the Central Honduras Education Fund has instead reevaluated its mission and further reaffirmed its goals. We believe that education is a sustainable outlet, and has found confirmation of the incredible potential of our current and former Central Honduras Education Fund scholars.