Michael and Zuze Bonderer
Michael and Zuze Bonderer have been working with Homes from the Heart for over 12 years, ever since the devastating earthquakes hit El Salvador in 2001. Michael is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a former entrepreneur from Kansas City, Missouri. Besides being in the construction business for over 25 years, Michael owned various restaurants and an elevator maintenance company. In 2000, Michael was in search of redemption. So, he ventured to Guatemala with a truckload of tools and his dog Jake. Once there, he began working with neglected children on the streets.
Soon after arriving in Central America, Michael met his wife Zuze, a native of Nicaragua, and her two daughters, Marlayna and Wanda. The family soon traveled to El Salvador, the most densely populated country in the Americas, to begin building houses in a new land. Together, they have learned how to accomplish the impossible. They have built over 400 homes around the country, including a 149-house community in an area of San Salvador plagued with violence and characterized by the separation of wealth.
They work together, each taking on whatever various roles necessary to maintain a thriving NGO and carry forth the Homes from the Heart mission. As Executive Director, Michael directs the construction efforts and collaborations with partnering organizations and individuals, among many other things. Zuze, our In-Country Director in El Salvador, acts as a translator, organizes labor and materials, keeps track of finances, works with families in the community, and interviews prospective beneficiaries.
(But we call him "Jimmy" because everyone else does)
Jimmy is our In-Country Director for Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti. He handles coordinating our volunteer teams and keeps our construction efforts running smoothly. A Haitian himself, he is familiar with the language, culture, and struggles of Haiti, and is an integral part of our team.
Sean Miller, Chairman
Ernie Straub III