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We can pretty much guarantee that Rubis wakes up earlier than anyone else you know with a 9 - 5 job. As the second of five siblings, she gets up every day at 3 am to help out at home before leaving for work. Then she walks for 40 minutes to reach the pick-up point where she gets a ride to her job at the Lazarus Artisan Goods leather studio.
If you haven’t already figured it out, Rubis is determined to make a better life for herself. She obtained her high school diploma and vocational training from Mission Lazarus in 2018. Then she began her first year of college, but unfortunately at that time the pandemic created health and economic issues for her parents who lost their jobs. So, Rubis had to withdraw from school and could not continue her studies.
Rubis dreams of going back to school so that she can attain a degree and help her parents build a decent house for their family of seven. Because of the tough economic situation in the country, and considering her parents’ age, Rubis knows it would be very difficult for her parents to build a house on their income alone.
But through her income from Lazarus Artisan Goods, Rubis is now able to support her family and work toward their dream of home ownership. She says God has blessed her by placing her in the leather shop for this season. She is encouraged by her co-workers that with a stable job, she will be able to again pursue her studies and work toward a job in administration where she can earn an even better wage for herself.
On top of this stability and encouragement, Rubis is grateful for her job because it allows her to take part in daily staff Bible studies. She says these studies are a blessing because her desire is to continue growing spiritually. And as she grows spiritually, she has begun attending her local church with her younger sister every Sunday.
At Lazarus Artisan Goods, stories like these are what drive our work. You see, the leather goods we sell here in the U.S. produce a ripple effect. These are not merely beautiful leather backpacks and wallets, useful and functional for our daily lives. They’re life-changing pieces that bring artisans like Rubis in Honduras and Haiti one step closer to a better future for themselves and their families.