First Impressions: Celebrating Women in Honduras
What kind of world do we want to live in?
Some may say one with less traffic on a morning commute, no lines at the grocery store or DMV, and brunch all day, every day. Because who doesn’t love sipping on a mimosa, eating savory and sweet dishes, and engaging in quality conversation with great company?
While I do agree with all these things, the reality for many families around the world and in Honduras is that their needs and desires are much more simple. They want to live in a world where they do not have to choose between food or sending their children to school that day, where they can afford access to healthcare, and most importantly, an opportunity for success; a chance to change their lives for the better.
Far too often, these hard-working families find themselves in the same, grave situations with unfavorable results and little opportunity.
Over the last few years I’ve come to find that my heart has remained with those living in underdeveloped conditions specifically in Latin-America. There are families that were born into a life that no one should have to live because they have no other choice. In turn, the cycle of poverty continues unless better opportunities arise to enable families to break out of the chain. I chose to volunteer with Adelante because the organization provides opportunities for growth, specifically for low-income women. We empower women and their families to pull themselves out of poverty by providing them with entrepreneurial opportunities combined with education to create a better quality of life.
As the women progress through their loans and businesses, over time, they also have the opportunity to take out loans to improve their living conditions, send their children to school, or purchase starting materials to produce crops. For women that have gone through this process with us, the changes have been highly transformative; for example, our clients have been able to put more food on the table or see one of their children become a first generation university graduate. Having lived through this experience as a first generation university graduate myself, I say with confidence that is it not an easy feat for any hard-working family, let alone as a single mother caring for multiple children. Witnessing the women of Adelante fight to overcome poverty day in and day out, I am able recognize specific attributes and values stemmed from my own upbringing from my mother. While our similarities may not match up perfectly, they certainly parallel each other in many ways. Without a doubt, the result is quite rewarding.
Honduran Women´s Day is January 25th, and I cannot think of a better way to celebrate and commemorate all the successes the women of Adelante have had professionally with our organization and personally within their own lives.
On my first field visit in Choluteca, I met an elderly woman named Guadalupe, fondly referred to as Lupe in her small village. With her bright eyes and pleased smile, she cheerfully boasted about all the corn she was able to harvest that year, which will eventually be made into tortillas for selling. She further explained the logistics and planning of her business of selling the corn and corn flour including the best times to invest, selling the corn when there is high demand, all while providing for her family comprised of her retired husband, 12 grandchildren, and children. Lupe learned her business skills from Adelante’s educational lessons as well as through trial and error over time. Throughout the conversation she mentioned several times all of this would not have been possible without the support of Adelante. Equally, we are very proud of Lupe and how far she has come with her partnership and her business.
It is women like Lupe and many others that I have met in my first week that inspire me to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more. Lupe greatly reminded me of my loved ones, in the way she endearingly told us her story and how much she has sacrificed to be at a better life for herself and her family. Her attitude was extremely uplifting, and it was encouraging to hear her speak of her plans, whether it be preparing to transport the corn, or spending time with her grandchildren. Lupe’s perseverance and accomplishments shine past her tribulations and continue to be an excellent example for others to follow.
Needless to say, I am excited to serve as the new International Field Coordinator at Adelante. I hope to learn and grow from the organization and develop strong relations with the women of Adelante. I hope my contributions and my time here continue to promote the same lasting and transformative impact Adelante has achieved for the past 15 years. Together, we can take a step forward in shaping the world we want to live in for the better, so no one ever has to live in poverty.