Honoring the Single Mothers of Honduras
Honduras has been ranked one of the most difficult countries in Latin America to be a mother according to Save the Children’s recent State of the World’s Mothers Report, based on poor maternal health and children’s wellbeing along with low educational status, economic status, and political status of women in the nation. There are over 600,000 single mothers in Honduras today, fighting to provide for their children. Silvia is one of these women, and we honor her this Mother’s Day.
“Of course it’s hard. But it is reality and you keep going. You get used to it,” says Silvia, the single mother of five. Her oldest son is fully grown now, but she still has a nineteen-year-old daughter, a seventeen-year-old son, and seven-year-old twin daughters in her home.
Silvia began working at the age of 9, selling candy and cigars in her small village to supplement her family’s meager earnings. She continued working both to help feed her family and to cover school expenses. Despite her efforts, when she became pregnant at 16, she had to drop her studies. She continued to make small sales and scrape her way by on her own. Then she found an Adelante solidarity group and took out her first loan for $91.
Now, after a long journey, Silvia has dedicated herself to her community grocery store. Through Adelante solidarity group loans and her innate positive energy, Silvia has been able to build the best stocked businesses in her community.
“People ask me, ‘Wow! How did you do this?’ I tell them: patience, hard work. Plus… I have a system.”
Silvia has used her savvy gained from years of real world business experience and knowledge gained from her business administration lessons to get ahead. Her painstakingly detailed books of inventory and calculations on demand and pricing inform her on exactly what her store needs. Her official hours are from 6 am to 9pm, but the locals know that any time day or night she will rush to her store front window to attend a customer.
Her 17-year-old son, Ariel, admires his mother’s diligence and follows her lead. Ariel works by day as a mason and studies at night to become a welder. “She has always fought for us. I want to help her get my little sisters through school,” he says.
At noon, the twin girls rush home from school, swing off their backpacks, and run to their mother. Silvia has somehow found time to prepare homemade chicken soup for lunch while attending the store. “This is nothing,” she says. “I was working throughout my pregnancy with them, even with my giant stomach!”
Silvia now gives guidance to other single mothers in her community, providing the support she wished she’d had earlier in life. Although it has often been a lonely fight, Silvia is grateful she can share her success, and that she has found a way to provide for her children.
A very happy Mother’s Day to Silvia, and to all of the hard working mothers of Adelante fighting for a better future for their families!