Education Breaks the Cycle of Poverty

One of NPH Guatemala’s older pequeños has fulfilled his professional dream.
July 13, 2018 - Guatemala

Justino in his office at NPH.

Justino* never imagined that he would have the opportunity to study. But since he was a child, he had an unusual dream. "My dream at age 8 was to go to the United States, and fulfill the American dream." Justino grew up at NPH Honduras, but moved to NPH Guatemala to pursue his professional dreams.

Many children in Guatemala live in high-risk places called "red zones," in which crime rates are higher. In dangerous areas such as these, children are more likely to grow up without present or positive parental influences. For the tragic cases of children who grow up in vulnerable environments or without parents, organizations such as NPH work for the children’s wellbeing and development.

According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), many parts of Central American countries are overwhelmed by poverty and crime. According to InSight Crime figures, during 2017, Guatemala had a homicide rate of 4,409 out of 100,000 people, and neighboring Honduras, Justino’s home country, had a rate of 3,947. It is estimated that approximately 15% of people in Honduras have the need to move due to crime.

"Before joining NPH, my life was very difficult; I was a child at risk," explains Justino. "Honestly, the life that I imagine without education is very different, I would not be alive or would not be a productive, contributing person."

Father Wasson´s philosophy is based on "Love and Security." Justino shares his experience at NPH: "I joined NPH when I was 11 years old, and that is where I learned of unconditional love. There are still people who give everything without expecting something in return, they make you feel like family, make you feel secure."

To fulfill his dream, Justino had to leave NPH Honduras and travel to Guatemala in order to study a specialty in Human Resources. "I was sure of what I wanted and I took the initiative; I investigated until I found just what I was looking for. I met with the National Director of Honduras and I contacted the National Director of Guatemala, and that's how I started."

"I wanted to study Human Resources because I want to ensure the rights of workers, so that they have a healthy work environment. Being a professional gives me the opportunity to be competent and impactful in the labor market."

At NPH, Justino has had the opportunity to dream again and again. In March of 2018, following completion of university, Justino started working at NPH Guatemala as the Sports and Recreation Coordinator.

"I feel fulfilled, grateful and very happy to have finished my university studies. I earned a degree in Technology and Human Resources Administration at the Galileo University in Guatemala – but NPH gave me everything."

Justino is very motivated to continue studying; his dream is to have a business of his own and create jobs for others. "I always felt inspired by my family and Father Wasson, I believe that education breaks the cycle of poverty."

*Name changed for privacy purposes.

Sofia López   
Communcation Officer

You may be only one person in the world, but you may be all the world to one child.
—Fr. William Wasson




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