Shin Fujiyama, co-founder of SHH, serves as the organization's Executive Director, focusing on long-term vision, fundraising, global partnerships, and public speaking. Shin was born in Niigata, Japan in 1983 and soon moved to the US with his family to settle in Falls Church, Virginia. He received his B.A. at the University of Mary Washington in International Affairs and struggled through organic chemistry in the pre-med program. To direct the nonprofit he created in his dorm room with his sister, he opted against a career in medicine. In his free time, Shin enjoys training at his kickboxing gym, playing soccer for numerous teams and reading. He has received many awards for his work in Honduras and was named a CNN Hero in 2009. Friend me on Facebook!
Ingrid is from el Progreso, Honduras and is a woman who describes herself as serious but social. She is the Coordinator of Donations and Food Services. One of her passions is to cook and spend time with her husband and 3 sons. Ingrid grew up in a children’s home called Copprome and for this reason she feels a special love for kids and the projects of CeCI. She worked for various private businesses but never felt that it fulfilled her so she was very excited when she met Shin and heard about the work of CeCI.
“CeCI has changed my life and that of my family. Now my kids and I are more united as we work together for the mission of CeCI. I love to work here because we have achieved great communication among the staff and this makes us work better together.”
“I would say to all the volunteers, keep fundraising back home, keep talking about the realities of Honduras so that this organization can grow and expand.”
Francis was born in San Pedro Sula and is known for being super friendly with a charisma and honesty that is fundamental to her role in CeCI. She is a young entrepreneur that inspires confidence in everything she does and for this reason she is CeCI’s Finance and Human Resources Administrator. Francis loves eating pasta and she enjoys being an active member her church, Piedras Vivas, which she has attended since she was little.
“Since I heard about CeCI I have felt connected to the mission because I always wanted to help others and be part of an organization that offers opportunities to those that need them the most. CeCI means a lot to me because it has changed the way I view life. I have been introduced to a lot of new experiences and I have learned to appreciate more the things that I have. This is not a normal job, it is a job where one needs to have a lot of love and dedication.”
“I would recommend to the volunteers that they take a minute of their time to understand more about what people here face and to let that motivate them to change more lives by supporting CeCI.”
Ana is from el Progreso, Honduras and is the heart and sole of CeCI. She is the jovial, adventurous, happy and serious Administrative Assistant. Ana describes herself as someone who loves to help others and wants to give back the help that she received growing up. Her motto "help your neighbor" is what helps her overcome any of the obstacles she may face in a day. "CeCI gave me the opportunity to get to know so many people and I have made so many magnificent friends. It has helped me grow as a person." "To my brothers and sisters who come to volunteer with us I would like to say, united we can change the world and make it a better place for all of it's inhabitants."
Gaby is from el Progreso, Honduras and describes herself as someone with passion for the things she undertakes. She is someone with charming charisma who has a love for networking and building relationships with people. For this reason she works as CeCI’s Communications Department. Gaby’s favorite pastime is reading and writing and she loves to eat seafood and pasta.
“I remember when I had my interview with Shin because I was living in Tegucigalpa and I had to decide if I would be willing to move to el Progreso. However after I saw the faces of the kids and the determination of Shin, I knew this was the sign I was waiting for. God put me here.”“My life has changed so much and CeCI is my family now. The smiles of those kids powers my hope that together we can make great changes.
Sergio was born in Guatemala City in 1961 and attended a Christian academy where he developed a passion to serve the poor. He studied electric engineering and has university degrees in philosophy, education and theology. He loves to work with computers, especially Macs. He has taught in many schools across Central America and also served as the principle in some of these schools..
Marco was born in Comayaguela and is the man to see at the worksite. He is the one who teaches the volunteers how to construct all these schools and houses.
“CeCI helps so many families with the focus always on the children. We have a team that is very dedicated which helps us achieve our goals. CeCI has definitely changed my life. I have learned to be more sensitive because working with these kids reminds me of my own suffering as a child. This experience has given me a rebirth after drowning in a world of alcoholism and drug addiction.”
“To the volunteers I would say, keep visiting our country and get to know the natural beauty here. And be part of the positive change that CeCI is making.”
Kelly Ryan started working full-time for Students Helping Honduras in 2011. She is a 2006 graduate of the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia with a BA in International Affairs and a concentration in Spanish. Kelly was one of the original members of SHH when it was started as a club at UMW in 2005-2006 and has maintained her relationship with SHH through various forms over the years including grant research, fundraising and leading volunteer trips. From 2007 to 2011 Kelly lived in New York City and worked as Faculty Assistant to Philip Alston and Program Assistant to the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at the NYU School of Law. She also served on the Coordinating Committee for the Centro de Educación de Trabajadores which provides a place of community and assistance for recent immigrants in New York. Kelly is very excited to finally call Progreso, Honduras her home.
Wesley was born and raised in Nashville, TN. In December of 2006, he graduated with a degree in graphic design from Austin Peay State University, Tennessee. In February of 2008 he joined Americacorps' National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). Ever since Americorps NCCC, he had been looking for a way to combine both his passions for non-profits as well as his love for graphic design. SHH welcomes Wesley to the team! Check out his portfolio on his website, Inadequate Seating. www.inadequateseating.com
Marlene Kindred joined the SHH team as Office Administrator officially in 2008, even though she had been working with SHH for several years prior through UMW. Marlene is a native of Fredericksburg, VA and still resides on the family property where she grew up. Her college major was Horticulture and she worked as a professional florist and landscape designer for fifteen years before coming to serve as the Administrator of the Campus Christian Community. She has been married to her husband, John, for 32 years and they have one daughter, Elanor, who is a senior at UMW. Her other interests include gardening, creating with her hands, junking and antiquing, scrapbooking and camping.
Currently a senior at Radford University, majoring in Nutrition and Dietetics, Rene first started with Students Helping Honduras back in 2008. After visiting Honduras in the winter of his sophomore year, he saw an immediate impact it had left in his life. Throughout the years, Rene has constantly been traveling back to Honduras, even starting a chapter at Radford University. Outside of SHH, Rene is a avid health fanatic, immersing himself in all aspects of fitness related information. He is currently preparing himself for a career in the fitness industry, where he can mix in Non-Profit work as well.
Francis Jesus Guillen was born in Concepcion Copan. Fran, as we say in Villa Soleada, loves to eat sushi and play soccer with the children in this beautiful project. "SHH for me meant a second chance at life. I realized that there are many things that one has to fight for but there are people like Shin willing to reach out to people in need." "I like working as the project assistant in Villa Soleada because it allows me to contribute to improving our community." "I can only thank the volunteers for helping to improve so many lives. We are behind them, joining their efforts to provide quality of life for our brothers.
Beverly is a Miami-based freelance motion designer. She has worked in both New York City and south Florida on a variety of projects ranging from broadcast news and educational videos, to motion picture trailer design. Beverly was super excited to create our 'One Cup of Coffee' video and to have joined the SHH team. She feels that there is nothing better than utilizing her skills to create for an incredible cause
Doña Natalia Mendez was born on December 4 in the city of El Progreso, Yoro she loves spending her free time painting, decorating and reading the word of God, which is what feeds the soul. "I describe myself as a woman with great faith, I believe that people can achieve impossible things, I am a very patient and I love children. I am a mother of 7 children and grandmother of 14 grandchildren. When I was asked to be the mother of the children's home, I said yes almost immediately. It's an awesome task, full of love." "SHH completely changed my life, made my dreams come true. There is nothing better than having my own house, so I do everything to continue to support this work which has given me so much joy." "I would say to the volunteers, Invite more people to continue changing lives and giving others the opportunity to make your dreams come true. This is what you did for me."
Yolanda Reyes was born in the city of Progreso. She describes himself as a tireless woman, a fighter, hard-working, very honest and peaceful "SHH gave me great opportunities and continues to give them to me. Thanks to them I have my house and a business that allows me to raise my children." "One of the things I enjoy is sharing my business with my children teaching them the power which can be achieved when working in teams." "I invite volunteers to come and observe the great things that have been achieved with your help. Much remains to be done so I look forward to working together to improve our lives and those of others."
Juan Montes was born on September 13 in the department of Yoro. "I love eating all kinds of meat and I love working. It's something I never complaining about, I really enjoy working." "SHH is a very serious institution working for noble causes and we are giving new opportunities to people. SHH personally gave me a good house for my family and we don't have to worry about when it rains or when there is strong wind. We have a safe house in a safe place." "Thanks to all who supported us so that Villa Soleada could be a dream come true for so many. Keep recruiting continue coming to work with us for these noble causes. God will reward you in this life."
Toño Reyes was born in the department of Yoro. His favorite food is fish and he is considered a great soccer player. He describes himself as a hard-worker, honest and charismatic. "It's a great job getting to assist all these projects of love. Projects that I benefited from. The least I can do is give my support. Working for SHH is an inspiration to me. It makes me complete. Shin and all the people who support SHH are achieving big things." "Thank God for all of you who help us. Please keep supporting my country and my people because we will always be so thankful for your work."
Allison started in February 2012 as a volunteer grant writer for SHH. She graduated in 2001 from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia with a BA in Geography and Historic Preservation. Since graduation, she has worked as a Hydrographer, GIS Specialist, and most recently as an Online Advocacy Specialist for an environmental non-profit before becoming a full-time mom. Allison is passionate about children around the globe and enjoys gardening, nature, botanical gardens, and spending time with family—especially her husband and 2-year old son.