Service members from Joint Task Force-Bravo have supported more than 500 children at five different orphanages in the Comayagua Valley since 1997. Volunteers spend time interacting with the children, donating supplies and doing construction work on the buildings which the children use and live in.
Joint Task Force Bravo was established in August 1984 to exercise command and control of U.S. Forces and exercises in the Republic of Honduras and Central America. Even today, Joint Task Force-Bravo is an organization that not only performs these duties, but has also helps bring great support to remote areas as well as nearby communities surrounding Soto Cano Air Base.
The orphanages that JTF-Bravo personnel support are as follows:
612th Air Base Squadron: Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Children's Home
Joint Task Force Bravo's 612th ABS is composed of more than 250 personnel. These Airmen voluntarily visit the orphanage twice a month, providing support to approximately 105 children and single mothers who live at the home. The children range in age from newborn to 13 years old. The 612th ABS has been supporting this orphanage for more than ten years, and provides them with a variety of supplies such as clothes, school items, and toiletries. The 612th also makes basic repairs to the orphanage facility, such as painting and installing lights. In addition to these things, the 612th ABS personnel involved with the orphanage help in improving the quality of life for the children by giving them emotional support. In 2006, 612th ABS personnel participated in the "Christmas in Honduras" toy delivery with a Special Forces unit from Hurlbert Field, Florida, and completed six major construction projects.
Army Forces Battalion (ARFOR): Tierra Santa Children's Home
ARFOR Soldiers voluntarily visit the orphanage twice a month and provide support to 150 children, ranging in ages from 1 to 18 years old. ARFOR has been supporting this orphanage since 1997, providing food, milk, clothing, toys, and medical supplies. Once a month, ARFOR personnel provide the orphanage with 32,000 gallons of fresh water and conducts minor construction projects in the buildings.
1st Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment: Saint Anthony of Padua Children's Home
The 1-228th Aviation Regiment supports the Saint Anthony of Padua Children's Home and they voluntarily visit the orphanage twice a month, providing support to approximately 80 boys ranging from kindergarten age through 6th grade. The 1-228 has been supporting this orphanage since 1998 by providing clothes, personal hygiene items and recreational supplies. In 2007, the 1-228 installed new clothes lines and replaced two of the roofs on the orphanage building. They also provided an entertainment system for its common recreational area.
Joint Security Forces: CASAYUDA
Joint Security Forces provides support to CASAYUDA. The JSF Soldiers voluntarily visit the orphanage, providing support to approximately 121 girls and boys. JSF has been supporting this orphanage since 2001, providing them with logistical, manpower and emotional support. JSF has also provided support in the construction of a basketball court, installing rain gutters and supplying ceiling fans. The unit also provided a stove, kitchen table, three washers and dryers, and a refrigerator. Their donations also include bicycles, food, clothing, shoes, and cleaning and school supplies. This orphanage has many special needs children, including children with Down syndrome, and some who are deaf and mute. The most important aspect of supporting this orphanage for the Joint Security Forces members is not only bringing the children love, but they also aid this school in preparing the disabled children to live a productive life and become well-adjusted members of society.
Medical Element: Jesus of Nazareth Children's Home
The Jesus of Nazareth Children's Home houses approximately 170 boys and girls. Service members from JTF-Bravo's Medical Element visit the orphanage every Wednesday, alternating between the boys and girls every other week. Additionally, MEDEL hosts a gathering for the children during special holidays. MEDEL has been supporting this orphanage for more than 10 years and conducts fundraisers in order to provide the children with school supplies and uniforms, groceries, clothing, shoes, personal hygiene items, toys and appliances (including refrigerators, washers, and stoves). They also provide medical care for the children through volunteer service hours since this orphanage has many special needs children, such as those with Down syndrome, as well as others who are blind, deaf or mute. In 2007, MEDEL members began working on a project to equip the orphanage with their own water supply system.