Most customers who visit Raquel’s coffee shop in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, have no idea what this young woman has gone through to get where she is today.
Raquel was sent from one government orphanage to another during her childhood. What she experienced in those early years is unimaginable – traumatic stress, physical abuse, drugs, homelessness.“Those early experiences helped me understand the importance of working hard,” Raquel says.
After years of mentoring Raquel, the staff of Orphan Helpers invited Raquel to participate in a life skills and job training program in 2018. She was hesitant at first.“My first thought was what would happen to my child. When I was told that I could bring my young son with me to the program, I was ready to go. After all, I was working in a cafe for $5 per day! I needed to make a better living,” Raquel says.
In the Empleando Futuros program, students learned how to prepare coffee. They also learned social skills and how to overcome obstacles.“The program provided me an internship at a top coffee shop. It taught me how to set prices and find business supplies. It opened up my mind to a new idea of how I could make a living,” Raquel says.
After completing Empleando Futuros, Raquel worked at a coffee shop for six months. She then took a giant leap and decided to open her own coffee shop this past September.
“It’s been a lot of work. I had to get a small business loan, find a place to rent, paint and renovate the place, buy equipment, and hand out flyers,” she recalls.
Raquel remembers her early days and is grateful for where she is today – running her own coffee shop and raising her four-year-old son with her husband.
“I give glory to God for never leaving me,” she says. “I take great comfort in His Word when it says: And though your beginning was small, your latter days will be very great (Job 8:7).”