One of the (there are many) biggest problems that the people around Jocotenango face is unemployment. When we ask people what we can pray for with them, almost always one of the requests is for work.
As we work with people who struggle with addiction, we have seen that steady work can be one of their biggest indicators of continuing success. They need to stay busy. They need to have purpose.
That brings us to Diego. He was 17 and had dropped out of school after the 6th grade. By the time we met him, he had already been in a drug and alcohol rehab center. He was already on probation. His uncle (who has fought through his own alcohol addiction) introduced us to him and told us that he needed to be busy. He needed purpose. He needed good influence. He needed God. We took Diego in and started teaching him how to make leather goods. We have taught him about punctuality, reliability. We have taught him attention to detail. We are teaching him what true love looks like. Diego is working throughout the week and attending school on the weekends. He helps his family with living expenses. He is concerned about other young men who are in similar situations as he was.
As I write this, Carlos is in his mid 40’s. He too has struggled with alcohol addiction. He has two sons who struggle with alcohol addiction. One is in rehab as I write this and the other is in prison. We sponsored Carlos in a drug and alcohol rehab center. The day we picked him up from rehab, I asked him what his plans were and he had none. We invited him to come work with us. The rest is history. He has been sober for almost a year.
In the following photos, you can see some examples of their craftsmanship. If you are interested in purchasing any of these items, let us know and we will figure out how to get them to you.