“Being young is not easy in Honduras“

Sustainable tourism
Being young is not easy in Honduras, especially when you don't have someone to support and guide you.

At only 21 years of age, Moisés Izaguirre already knows what he wants, "in five years I hope to have my own coffee business," he says determinedly. He trained as a waiter for seven months at the National Vocational Training Institute of San Felipe (INFOP), in Tegucigalpa, as part of the of the ProJoven program, which is financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (COSUDE) and implemented by Swisscontact.

Moisés Izaguirre, graduated from the professional training as a waiter of the ProJoven program.
"This opportunity changed my life"
Moisés Izaguirre, graduate from the ProJoven professional waiter training program.

At the beginning of this year, he began working at a well-known restaurant in the Honduran capital, which specializes in pizzas and craft beer. The person who is now his boss, noticed Moisés when he was still working in another establishment and was amazed at his skill and good disposition in customer service. That opportunity, along with the professional training he received, changed his life.

"Every day I hope to learn something new and my manager gives me the chance to keep learning."

Moisés lives 20 kilometers away from his workplace, in a town called Tatumbla. Every day he travels on his motorcycle which offers much better mobility in a city that is not prepared for the enormous amount of traffic there circulating. Sometimes he works in the mornings and sometimes in the afternoons and makes his schedule work with his specialized culinary studies. 

"Gastronomy schedules are complicated," he acknowledges, "but I really like my work and I don’t feel it’s such a big sacrifice. Every day I hope to learn something new and my boss gives me the possibility to continue learning. "

"You can't wash dishes all your life."

But it wasn’t always like that. "Before entering the program, I didn’t have a life plan,” he says. "While I was always a friendly and focused student, I had low self-esteem; I had no projects to look forward to." I grew up with my grandmother and my aunt and it wasn’t until recently that I reestablished a relationship with my mother again. Being young isn’t easy in Honduras, especially when you don’t have someone to support and guide you." 

"I used to work in the hotel as a dishwasher, but one day I said to myself: you can’t keep washing dishes all your life. So, I enrolled in a waiters course there I also learned the bartender's trade."

He enrolled in the INFOP looking for a trade and through the ProJoven program he was able to get a job. ProJoven is a program that supports young people in Honduras with quality technical courses that allow them to find a job and generate income. 

"The program helps us focus on what we have to change and correct. After entering the ProJoven program my head changed, I improved as a person, I became more educated. They give you lots of support in areas such as self-esteem and personal growth," he says.

ProJoven promotes self-knowledge through experience sharing focusing on self-esteem and core values; It also offers workshops to sharpen social skills, how to be effective in searching for jobs, how to innovate and create in order to achieve entrepreneurship.

"As young people in Honduras, I feel that we are rarely given the opportunity to grow. The issue of violence aggravates everything."

Most of the students in his class that graduated with him are working, says Moisés. However, he recognizes that the majority of the young people in his immediate environment, such as friends and family, have not been able to achieve their goals. "The person’s disposition and being able to find the support of someone who motivates you, is the most difficult thing to achieve. I feel that in Honduras, they rarely give young people the opportunity to grow. On top of that, the issue of violence aggravates everything "underlines Moisés while he finishes preparing coffee for a client.

Moisés’s smile floods everything.

He has the born attitude of customer service person, as well as an eye for detail and a desire to improve and grow. He, like most young people, has dreams: "Ever since I started, I have had many plans that are getting bigger and bigger. In five years I hope to start my own coffee company; I like being a barista very much. "

"The program opened my mind and helped me understand that I have to overcome external limitations. The economy is complicated, but as people we must show that we can move forward."
Initial vocational education and training, Entrepreneurial ecosystems
Professional training for young people (Projoven)
The population of Honduras suffers from poverty, violence, corruption and unemployment. According to the National Statistics Institute of Honduras (INE), the unemployment rate is slightly over 7%; however, if the under-employment rate is added to this, it surpasses 40%, with young people comprising the largest group of unemployed. Furthermore, this...