Consuelo: A Story of Immense Personal Strength
Last week I had my first field visit to Choluteca, Honduras- the place I like to call the Texas of Honduras. The dry, hot climate and hospitality made me feel right at home. All that was missing were cowboy boots and country music. Although I joke that Choluteca is similar to home, going out to the field and visiting clients reminded me that I was very far from the comforts of Texas.
What surprised me the most about my visit wasn’t the drastic change in geography, or the noticeable poverty- it was the strength of the women I talked to. One client in particular stood out to me. Consuelo has been an Adelante client for two and a half years, and sells hammocks for her business. She moved with her family from the department of Olancho to Choluteca seven years ago to be closer to her husband’s family a year after he suffered from a stroke that left him bedridden.
Along with her responsibilities related to work and her husband, Consuelo also has to take care of her two children. Her 17 year old daughter lives at home and helps care for their home. Her 13 year old son is enrolled at the local secondary school. When I asked her about her business, Consuelo stated, “I work to support my family”. If she wasn’t selling hammocks, her family wouldn’t have an income.
Long after I had finished the interview with Consuelo, I couldn’t stop thinking about her story. Even with her many difficult tasks, not once did she complain about or show resentment toward her situation. I was blown away by her courage. While sometimes it seems that taking care of myself is hard enough, Consuelo balances working, taking care of a handicapped spouse, and supporting two children at the same time – without letting the difficulties get the best of her.
Despite the unbearable heat, my trip to Choluteca was just another eye-opening experience in Honduras. Speaking with Consuelo and many other clients showed me that strength comes in many forms. I have always found myself in awe when I meet clients, but this visit to Choluteca has really stood out. It takes an incredibly strong person to be able to go through these hardships, tell the story, and still have a smile at the end of the day.