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Las Delicias is one of the most beautiful villages in our region in Honduras, but it has the same fate as all villages in the country - there are no opportunities for people to succeed. Most families are subsistence farmers growing beans and corn, and others work on coffee farms or in sawmills. There's only one school which goes through the sixth grade, with no options to advance academically. Other schools are too far away, and parents can't afford to send their children to continue their education and have a more dignified life. We see this cycle of poverty over and over in our work in Honduras and Haiti.
A young man named Jose David Sanchez Padilla (“David”) is no exception to this situation. He lives in Las Delicias, where he shares a home with his mother, uncles, grandparents, and cousins, 10 family members in all. His house is small, hardly enough room for the 10 family members living there, similar to their budget, which is hardly enough to provide food for so many mouths.
In 2015, things started looking up when David’s mother sent in an application for him to start junior high school and receive vocational training at the Lazarus Academy. This would further his chances at succeeding beyond what life had laid out before him.
Like so many of the kids in school at Lazarus Academy, David made sacrifices to be there. He walked more than an hour and a half every morning, climbing and descending mountains on foot paths to get to school. In fact, here's video evidence of the long journey to school.
In 2018, after a few years of hard work and studying, David reached an exciting milestone: he completed the ninth grade and also finished his first three years of apprenticeship in the Lazarus Artisan Goods leather studio. He felt so blessed to have his first two diplomas in hand, but he had more desires to fulfill. The opportunity arose to continue studying at Lazarus Academy, and in 2020 he proudly graduated from high school.
Shortly after graduating, we hired David onto our Lazarus Artisan Goods Production Team. He now has a steady job with a salary that he uses to support his family. He says that he feels very happy because he has achieved something that he and his family have desired for a long time - sustainable stability. In their words, Mission Lazarus has been “like a lighthouse, bringing hope in all areas.”
We are honored to be a conduit for bringing both hope and economic relief to David and his family. And what’s more, whether you know it or not, YOU have played a part in their lives too. When you purchase a bag, wallet, or accessory from Lazarus Artisan Goods, your purchase directly helps David on his journey to success and becoming more than he ever imagined. Thank you for walking alongside us as we continue our work in Honduras and Haiti.