We are saddened to share that Michael Bonderer, Executive Director and a founder of Homes from the Heart (HFTH), passed away. Michael first became ill with pneumonia in El Salvador and returned to Kansas City for medical care. He later suffered complications from his illness and passed away peacefully in the company of his wife Zuze, brother Dan, daughters and other family members and friends on Wednesday, November 2, 2016.
Michael’s journey with the poor began in 2001 following two devastating earthquakes in El Salvador that destroyed over 330,000 homes. In response to that tragedy, Bob Miller, Jack Fisher and Ron Ward of Kansas City founded HFTH. Michael and Zuze immediately moved to El Salvador and have since built over 400 homes in the area.
As of Executive Director of HFTH, Michael worked daily among the gang-ridden communities of El Salvador, bringing progress and helping to build community. In addition to building homes, Michael and Zuze have coordinated with multiple outside agencies and organizations to bring assistance with education, health, and community projects in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua.
Michael responded immediately to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. He arrived and connected with the community. The team he formed continues to do the work of HFTH in Haiti, utilizing local contractors to build over 100 homes in the municipality of Croix de Bouquets.
Michael’s motto and the slogan of Homes from the Heart is “Just show up.” He also knew that building a home was not the most important part of his work. “Anyone can build a cluster of concrete structures.” he said. “The real work is building community within the structures.”
To learn more about Michael, watch "The Accidental Missionary."