This afternoon I had the chance to catch up with Ana Hernandez, Esperanza’s Honduran coordinator. We talked about various medical cases we’re involved in and then she shared updates on various students Esperanza supports. I couldn’t have been happier when she talked about 15 year Jairo who will be matriculating to the next grade in February.
Jairo has had a challenging childhood to say the least. His father has never been involved in his life, and when his mom was raising him and his little brother, Carlito, she was in a horrific car accident which we witnessed. Among Brenda’s greatest ailments was a huge gash across her forehead and another gash to her hand which exposed her bones. Amazingly, an ambulance did appear, Ana escorted her to the U.S./Honduran military base and she was transferred to a hospital in Tegucigalpa. Once we learned of her prognosis, we agreed to sponsor her treatment at a private hospital, fearing she would die if she stayed in the public one.
Thankfully, Brenda made a full recovery medically. However, her life did not improve financially and she made the grueling decision to leave her sons with family and travel to the U.S. for employment. It’s a heart wrenching decision to make but Brenda wanted to be able to feed and house her two boys and decided to make the sacrifice.
Brenda never abandoned Jairo and Carlito emotionally, and she stayed in touch with them often. The money she made was sent home to provide for her sons. It took several years before Brenda moved back to Honduras and Jairo had certainly changed a lot. His mom now had a husband and wanted everyone to move to Guatemala. Jairo was no longer interested in school and his dream was to buy a cow.
Jairo did join the rest of the newly blended family in Guatemala but it didn’t last long. He is an extremely mature and independent boy and wanted to return to his native Honduras. When he moved back, he was only 14 years old and would be living on his own. We worried how he would survive, what would he do with his life, and how would be resist the temptations of drugs and other dangers?
We did assure Jairo that if he was willing to follow a few of our rules, we would help pay for his school and food. Jairo has become a class leader and has a job six days a week with a local farmer. Ana acts as his surrogate mother, attending teacher conferences. When we are in Flores, Jairo moves into our house and we become “family.” He couldn’t be happier than when he’s doing a construction project with Tom, helping “our” younger children with their homework, or cooking a meal with (or for) me.
This young man is one special person and we are blessed to have him for our Godson. Keep up the great work, Jairo!