“I watch a lot of YouTube videos so I always know the coolest hair styles. People choose to come to my barber shop because I know what’s going to look good,” Edwin, a young barber, laughs with confidence.
Edwin started his barbering business in Honduras over a year ago, cutting hair wherever and whenever he could. He saved enough of his earnings that he’s been able rent space for a barber shop and furnish it with second-hand furniture, a barber chair, two mirrors, and a variety of hair cutting supplies.
Today, Edwin’s barber shop is the most popular one in his community. “I want to provide great customer service, and my clients see that,” he says. “I work around their schedules. Sometimes I have to cut hair at midnight, and that’s great for me.”
Edwin’s customers see him as a young entrepreneur with a professional demeanor and a friendly personality. It’s a far different impression than he left on people a few years ago.
Back in 2016, as a young teenager, Edwin was living with his family in extreme poverty. He watched older friends making quick money through extortion and decided to join them.
“I wanted to belong to something. I wanted money. I wanted to feel important,” he confesses about his life on the streets.
Edwin’s actions soon caught up with him. He was arrested and sentenced to four years in a Honduran juvenile detention center. His family was crushed. If times weren’t already hard enough for them, they now faced the additional financial burden of Edwin’s legal fees and bus fares to visit him in prison.
Edwin was at rock bottom. Orphan Helpers’ teachers inside the detention center started inviting him to morning devotionals. Edwin felt too ashamed to attend. For many months he refused their invitations. Finally, one day he accepted. Edwin enrolled in the Orphan Helpers Success Academy and barbering workshop. Edwin learned life skills and heard about the great love of God.
“It was the best decision I ever made. I left prison with hope, a desire to make something of my life, and a skill to provide for my family.”
Shortly after his release, Edwin’s father passed away. Edwin began supporting his mom and sisters. He started a full-time job at a factory during the day. He launched his barbering business at night.
In 2021, Edwin took an entrepreneurship class with Orphan Helpers. He was excited to find ways to really grow his barbershop. “I learned that I don’t need a loan to start up a business. I can build it up using what I have,” says Edwin, who sold his motorcycle in order to invest in his own shop.
His greatest joy, however, is sharing his story. Edwin has been baptized since his release and now puts his faith in God and actively participates in a local church.
“People in the community are still surprised by how much I have changed,” he proclaims. “I want my life to show them how powerful Jesus is. If He can change me, He can change anybody.”