COUNTRY: HONDURAS
PROJECT: ACADEMIA PARA UN FUTURO MEJOR
DIRECTOR: JEREMÍAS VOBADA

Jeremías lives in Cerrito Lindo – a violent neighborhood on the outskirts of San Pedro Sula, Honduras. He was troubled seeing children as young as ten years old hanging out on street corners with the gangs. He wanted to reach at-risk youth and give them a productive alternative, so he decided to start teaching electrical and solar-panel-installation classes in three different gang-infested neighborhoods. (Many villages in Honduras have no electricity except from solar panels, so it’s a great vocational skill in Honduras).

By partnering with a local contractor, he is able to give the youth hands-on experience in the field, which increases their employability. Hopelessness is a key factor driving youth to join gangs, so such vocational training is an important deterrent for gang involvement. Approximately 5 students are graduating from his classes every three months, but they cannot afford to buy tool kits to begin work. Global Pearls will partner with Jeremías to give each graduate a high-quality electrical toolkit so they can successfully find work.

A second factor driving gang membership is a desire to belong to a “family.” Jeremías has found that a very effective alternative to the gangs is soccer! He has formed and coaches 4 soccer teams comprised of 80 kids ages 10 to 18 and another 20 youth who are over 18. To get the youth safely to weekend soccer games in rival gang territories, he pays for a bus to drop them off right at the stadium. The kids are passionate about soccer, and Jeremias no longer sees them hanging out with the gangs.

He does all this work together with his wife, Reina, and son, Dennys. They are working out of a love for the youth and a desire to make their neighborhood, and country, a place where children can live in safety, set goals for their future, and have the opportunity to realize those dreams!