andar_logoMission Statement: Andar’s mission it to “facilitate processes of development and local capacities so that men, women, and children together can construct a more humane and full life centered around the values of equality and justice.” Andar has focused most of its work in rural areas of Honduras, striving to empower rural people living in poverty, and especially rural women, to take a more active role in the political, social, economic, and cultural life of their communities. All of Andar’s work strives to move toward gender equality, acting to improve the conditions of women and children in a society that has been deeply wounded by gender inequality and its related violence.

Asociación Andar is a Honduran non-profit organization founded in 1987 in connection with similar projects of the same name in other Central American countries. Andar was founded by Narda Meléndez, a Honduran visionary who dedicated her life to human rights in her country. In recent years, Narda’s sister, Santa Meléndez, has served as the director of Andar, while Narda dedicated increasing time to working with the Honduran government around questions of human rights. In October of 2004, Narda passed away unexpectedly at the age of 50 and her absence has been felt deeply by many individuals and organizations in Honduras who are dedicated to equality and justice.

The name Asociación Andar comes from a line by the poet Antonio Machado, “Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al ANDAR.” (“Seeker, there is no path. The path is made by walking.”) This phrase inspires Andar to create and recreate proposals that are relevant to the realities of the individuals and communities they work with. The overarching vision that guides their work is the dream of “an equitable and respectful Honduran society working in solidarity for the quality of life of all its citizens.”

Programs and Activities

One of Andar's most recent projects, and the focus of our work with A W.I.S.H., is located in Cedeño, a beach community on the Gulf of Fonseca. The Center for Child and Family Development, or CEDIF (Centro de Desarrollo Infantil y Familiar), serves between 36 and 40 children between the ages of four and six per year. The CEDIF is a community-based education program that strives to provide young children with an interactive and experiential education that is strikingly different from the education children receive in most government programs in Honduras. Children in the program receive daily nutritional snacks and their health is monitored throughout the year.

The CEDIF is also more than just a preschool program. It works closely with the families of the children, providing bimonthly classes for mothers on such subjects as Early Childhood Education, Importance of Play, Child Development, Health and Wellness, and Domestic Violence, among other themes that are relevant to rural family life. The CEDIF also has the goal of providing mothers of young children with free time that can be used to improve their financial situations, to organize, or to participate in other aspects of community life. The program relies on active participation on the part of mothers, fathers, and other community members, helping to reinforce the value of early childhood education and respect for children within the community.

Since 2002, the CEDIF has been supported by Andar staff and also by long-term volunteers from the United States who have backgrounds in education and development. Four teenage girls serve as “educadoras” or teachers in the program, with ongoing training and supervision from Andar staff and volunteers. This promotes further community development by teaching valuable skills to young women in the community.

Links to Additional Information

Project Leader Biographies

Contact Information

Emily Thomas Montgomery, North American Liaison
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Santa Melendez, Director
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Apartado Postal 2818,
Tegucigalpa, Honduras, C.A.  
Honduras Fax: 504-239-3406

Asociacion Andar, c/o Lynn Montgomery, 630 SW 144th Place, Burien WA 98166
US Phone: 858-458-9833