Author (Your Name)

Stephanie Bowman, Colby College

Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Latin American Studies Program


Ben W. Fallaw

Second Advisor

Patrice Franko


Through an interdisciplinary analysis of children’s homes in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, this project reflects on how conceptions of family affect the prioritization of the needs of the homes’ beneficiaries. One consequence of the impoverished nature of Honduras are orphaned, abandoned, mistreated, malnourished, abused, neglected and disowned children who have come to live in group children’s homes that, for the most part, meet their short-term physical needs. But what about children’s developmental, social and educational needs? In this study, we analyze what needs homes meet according to the kind of familial substitute they provide as either a group home or a proxy family home. Conscious of the limited financial resources these small NGOs have available, each home has chosen a particular structure that meets some children’s needs, while ignoring others. How well do these homes provide for the spectrum of short and long-term needs of Honduran children? How does their conception of family and organization affect their efficacy? What conclusions can be drawn about the most effective allocation of all available resources?


substitute family, Honduras, perception, needs, at-risk youth, Child welfare, Child development