Piñatas Provide a Path Forward

By Josela Lopez, Honduras Field Communications Specialist   |  Photos by Josela Lopez and Hope Center staff in Honduras

A Hope Center in Honduras teaches teenagers how to make piñatas that they can sell to earn an income to help their families living in poverty. Read how one teen took a special shine to making piñatas – and making an income.

The House of Blessing for the Children Hope Center in Choluteca, Honduras, recognizes the importance of teaching older children and teenagers vocations through workshops. These workshops help youths learn skills that can generate income — and keep them out of trouble.

José shows some of the piñatas he has made.

Honduran families living in poverty often need the help of their older children to take care of their younger children or develop a skill that can earn income. If older children aren’t busy helping out, they may get distracted by gangs, which pose the biggest threat to the welfare of an impoverished community like Choluteca.

Gangs typically identify which children are the most vulnerable, mainly those who lack parental supervision, and work to recruit them.

José shows a photo of one his creations.

In Honduras, 39.4% of the population is made up of children and teenagers. Of those children, only 15.6% attend school. This large percentage of youths out of school is vulnerable to the influence of gangs.

But vocational workshops at Hope Centers help youths see a path to a brighter future, and to know they can make something of themselves rather than joining a gang. It’s a path that brings them hope.

And this is the case for José Garcia, a teen who learned how to make piñatas at his Hope Center. José is 17, but he first came to the Hope Center when he was 3.

His mom is so grateful to the Hope Center, not only for the food relief and spiritual orientation, but also for the for the medical attention and counseling José has received over the years. “I have felt supported,” she says. “Piñata-making has been a great experience for José. He has found a passion.”

José’s Hope Center director says that his piñatas are so well done that most of the Child Champions buy them from him. And one time a person having a birthday party didn’t want the other kids to hit the piñata because it was so beautiful.

José says that making piñatas is a way in which he can express himself and let his imagination fly.

“I am so grateful for my mom because she has also taught me a lot in the process, and I’m grateful for the Hope Center as they taught us how to make piñatas,” he says.

And other Hope Centers in Honduras also offer vocational workshops to youths to keep them engaged and out of trouble. Workshops include learning how to cut hair, learning how to sew or cook, or learning how to make doughnuts to sell.

Staff at Hope Centers are always thinking of new ways to add even more value to their program, such as offering these vocational workshops.

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