Indoor, Outdoor & Kids' Trampolines

Meet The Honduran Army’s Playground Recruits


– The US-funded Honduran army is putting kids through
a controversial program, some of them, as young as seven. – [Karla] The kids come from the poorest neighborhoods in Honduras, which has one of the highest
murder rates in the world. – They say it’s a way to
keep them out of gangs, but their critics say it’s indoctrination. Almost 30,000 children are
participating in the program called (speaks in a foreign language), or guardians of the homeland. The children meet on Saturdays in schools across the country. They kick off the day by singing the national anthem and saying a prayer. Then, they go to karate or Zumba and classes on spirituality, civic commitment, and sex and HIV. – During the day, armed
soldiers play with them and tell them about the virtues of life in the military. The children say officials have asked them who wants to be a soldier and taken their names down. The kids also get a snack and lunch and those might be the biggest draws. One in four children suffer
from chronic malnutrition. Many parents say they are relieved that their kids get food
and have a distraction one more day of the week. – The ruling party
argues that this program will help stabilize Honduras by instilling values into children. By the end of this year, the
total number of participants since 2010 will be close to 200,000. The UN has expressed
concern over the program, warning that children are being over-exposed to military attitudes. The country is already highly militarized with the army policing
residential neighborhoods, malls, and even cememteries. To counter this criticism, the armed forces recently
moved the sessions from military bases to school buildings. Teachers are worried that children are being brainwashed to
become future recruits. Last year, US Marines worked
with Guardians of the Homeland. The State Department said it does not provide funding for the program, but the head of the Honduran armed forces told BuzzFeed News that the US may be providing some consulting. Parents are concerned that the information the army is gathering from the children may be putting them in danger. The kids are told to draw
a map of their neighborhood and asked if anyone nearby
sells drugs or is a gang member. If neighbors think
they’ve become informants, participants’ families worry
criminals may come after them.

Reader Comments

  1. The military groups of Honduras are murderers.
    Look at last year's news, 43 civilian deaths during post-election.

    Saving the children of our country is not to induce them that their only hope (because they are poor) is to be part of a group as dehumanized as the military are in HONDURAS.

  2. The problem with Honduras is the gang violence. It has managed to thrive in the poor country. I am not against kids in a military program, its a much better alternative to slipping away into the opposite lifestyle. This is not the sole solution, more needs to be done to get Honduras out of its financial ruin. All of the road work is great, I'm sure it has given many people jobs, but there are still so many people barely making it by. By educating the future of Honduras and handing them a country that isn't starving by the time they are in charge, there will finally be a chance for Honduras.

  3. US Inc , sinister beyond belief. US Military, bunch of cowardly pedophiles. Please grown men im the military playing with children, plan sickening

  4. Poor children at the mercy of military groups is sad. I bet the middle and higher class parents would not allow this to happen to their children

  5. Antes de venir a criticar a mi pais te invito a que vengas a conocer su historia y realidad, es facil criticar a los demas desde una oficina.

  6. Being a Honduran myself but born and raised in America kids as young as 7 should not be in this program and although this is does help kids not be in gangs they should atleats be in their villages and play not be in a military program

  7. You dont live in Honduras dont talk shit these people only help this poor childs you live in America not in Honduras stop talking shit that you dont know

  8. Alright now. I see some pros and cons with this. The discipline and civic duty part is good to teach but in a country where gangs control a great part of the population teaching these kids to fight is probably wrong. Also the government wrongfully uses the military. During the last elections the president used the military to oppress the people. Some US consultants are probably necessary. Btw this comes from a Honduran

  9. look, i understand San Pedro Sula has maras (gangs) but, the countryside like Gracias a Dios or the shores of Tela, there isnt too much violence there. The only violence that happens is in San Pedro Sula and some parts of Tegucigalpa

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