Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

           

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

All Real Stories

Meet some of our incredible women!

Dilcia Rodriguez

Lori Connell

Dilcia met Mi Esperanza co-founder Lori and her husband Mark the summer of 2005 when her community of Molaloa was experiencing flash flooding and her land was being washed away by the water. Dilcia and her children had to leave their home because of the danger their house would fall.  She was moved to a shelter that TORCH set up in a community church.  Dilcia at the time had 3 sons Jefferson 4 and her twin boys of 3 months.  Through the work of TORCH missions who Lori and Mark work,  Dilcia's house was saved and she was able to return to her home.  Lori and Dilcia have remained friends and in contact ever since.  In March of 2012 Dilcia applied to the Mi Esperanza's Micro-loan program to start a fruit stand business in her barrio.  She was so excited to begin a business that would allow her to be close to home to care for her mentally delayed son and still earn a living.  Shortly after she began her business the gang in her community began demanding a "war tax" to keep her business open..not making enough to pay the tax and still earn a profit she was forced to close her business.  In 2014 Mi Esperanza held a satellite sewing training course in her community and Dilcia signed up.  She was very dedicated to her study and finished at the top of her class.  She bought a manual sewing machine and began sewing clothes in her community as a source of income for her family. In January of 2015 Mi Esperanza was beginning to implement a new line of hand-dyed products and was in need of a dye artisian.  Dilcia was chosen to work with EA Lepine, board member and designer/owner of arrowroot clothing to learn to dye fabrics. Dilcia was beyond excited for the opportunity to learn a new skill and an opportunity for work. Dilcia is now our dye artisan and doing an amazing job.  She is working on Mi Esperanza products and products for our partners in hope.  

DILCIA AT A GLANCE

  • Age: 32
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Children: 4
  • Community: Colonia Molaloa
  • Mi Esperanza Course: Micro-loan program, Sewing Training course, Dye Artisan

"Now I can help my family, and I continue to HOPE that there are more people willing to help others in need.  I am overwhelmed with the organization for helping my family and my children."

 

Nery Elizabeth Sierra Gonzalez

Lori Connell

Nery is a 15 single girl who lives in the community of Jiniguare, a long trek into the mountains beyond Santa Ana, Honduras.  Nery heard of Mi Esperanza's free sewing training course being offered in Santa Ana from a friend.  She walked one hour to find the course and when she did she signed up for the course.  Nery knew this was her only opportunity to learn a skill and for seven months she walked one hour to class and one hour home 4 days a week to take advantage of this opportunity.

Nery at a glance

  • Age: 19
  • Marital Status: Not Married
  • Children: None
  • Community: Jiniguare
  • Mi Esperanza Course: Sewing Course
No one in this community has a sewing machine, and I will be happy to design and make skirts, dresses, school uniforms to sell in the community!

At graduation Nery was recognized as the top student of her class for her commitment, dedication and hard work.  For that honor she was awarded a sewing machine to use in her home.  Nery is so happy with her education and receiving the machine because it will be a new source of income for her family. 

Mercedes Matute

Lori Connell

Mercedes came to us by recommendation of a friend from church.  Mercedes was going through a very hard time in life and struggling with depression.  She was not working and living in despair. Her friend convinced her to call and sign up for the course and she began class in August 2013.  Mercedes was dedicated to the commitment she made in receiving one of the chairs in the class. As she learned she found her outlook on life began to change she had a new sense of HOPE and enjoyed her time at class and the people surrounding her at Mi Esperanza.  When she started she did not know how to turn a computer on, now she knows how to use a computer and all the programs presented in the course.  Mercedes was known in class for her punctuality to class and responsibility in her work.

Mercedes at a glance

  • Age: 48
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Children: 2
  • Community: San Cristobal
  • Mi Esperanza Course: computer
When she started she did not know how to turn a computer on, now she knows how to use a computer and all the programs presented in the course.


One month after she graduated she had an opportunity for work as a promoter of sales for Grupo Cooperativo Excelsior International.  She applied and received the job.  She creates reports in word and documents in excels and these are both skills she learned during her course at Mi Esperanza.  We are very happy for Mercedes and ALL it offered to her life because no one should live without HOPE.

Martha Valdez

Lori Connell

Martha graduated from the Mi Esperanza beauty school in August of 2012.  Since her graduation Martha has been employed by Hefziba Beauty Salon where she preformed her internship, a requirement for graduation.  Martha is very happy with her job and enjoys the environment in which she works.  She thankful continues to learn and gain confidence in the beauty industry.  Martha's boss is also very pleased with the work and ethic Martha has.  She is very proud of her perseverance and commitment to her work.  Martha is thankful to Mi Esperanza for the education and skills she now has to help support her family.

Martha at a glance

  • Age: 21
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Children: 2
  • Mi Esperanza Course: Beauty

Gabriela Sevilla

Lori Connell

Gabriela Sevilla graduated from our Beauty School in August of 2012.  When she graduated she immediately started working out of her rented home to offer services in her community.  Gabriela and her husband own a house but it was in such disrepair they could not live in it or use it for her business.  Because they had to rent another house they never had money to improve the house they owned as they planned.

Gabriela at a glance

  • Age: 32
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Children: 2
  • Community: Aldea El Lolo, Entrada Principal, Sector 3
  • Mi Esperanza Course: Beauty and Micro-loan Program

In October of 2013 Gabriela applied to the Mi Esperanza micro-finance program to assist in building her business; buying more equipment & supplies and renovating the space she owned for her salon.  Gabriela repaid that loan in full and on time with no late payments.   In June 2014 she received approval on a 2nd loan and with this loan she continues to the work on her salon. When speaking to Gabriela she first thanks God for His love for her and the provision He provides in her life. She is also extremely grateful for Mi Esperanza's education and micro-loans programs and the opportunities they have given her to change the future for her family. Gabriela shared with us that she would pray "God, how am I going to change our life" and she sees His answer came through the opportunities from Mi Esperanza.

God, how am I going to change our life

Since graduation Gabriela has returned to Mi Esperanza as a motivational speaker and has continued to participate in service projects with current students. She loves giving back to the program that has given her so much. We are incredibly proud of her commitment and hard work and we love watching her make the most of the opportunities she has been given.   It is a blessing to make this journey along side her. 

Luz Amparo Flores

Lori Connell

In Amparo's words

In February 2005 I was listening to the radio when a preacher announced that Mi Esperanza had initiate a sewing course in Aldea las Tapias.  A couple of women from my neighborhood went to sign up because we knew this will be something good for us. After a year I learned to sew, and the teacher Cecilia saw my work and she liked it.

Working for Mi Esperanza changed my life completely, before taking the sewing course I did not have any skills whatsoever, since then I have been working for 8 years and the income helps me to support my family and give my kids a good education.

In 2006 I started making bags for Mi Esperanza we used to work in Colonia Elvel at Lori's house, it was a small place but we all loved working together.  Gypsy and Lola bags were the first bags I made, now I am capable of making any bag Mi Esperanza request.  Working for Mi Esperanza changed my life completely, before taking the sewing course I did not have any skills whatsoever, since then I have been working for 8 years and the income helps me to support my family and give my kids a good education.

Amparo at a glance

  • Age: 47
  • Marital Status: Not Married
  • Children: 4
  • Community: Nueva Aldea, Mateo
  • Mi Esperanza Course: Sewing and the Mi Esperanza maquila

I am so happy to know that during 2015 we will have more work to do because of Mi Esperanza's partnership with other non profit organizations and designers from the US.

 For me, Mi Esperanza is not just an organization but a great blessing to many Honduran women who have benefited from the computer, cosmetology and sewing course, and the micro-loan program.

I thank God for Mi Esperanza.

Sara Zepeda

Lori Connell

In Sara's words.

I met Lori, Mark and Janet in 2007 when they were announcing the Mi Esperanza courses in Nueva Oriental.  I heard Mi Esperanza was offering Computer, Cosmetology and Sewing class to women of low income. I was really interested in the sewing course and I decided to take it immediately.  The next year after I graduated my husband died, when Mi Esperanza found out about my husband, they called me to offered me a current job that was available at Mi Esperanza, which I happily accepted.  I feel good to be part of their team. I started working from Monday-Thursday, but thank God we have had so many new projects that I work Monday-Friday now.

Sara at a glance

  • Age: 54
  • Marital Status: Not Married
  • Children: 3
  • Community: Nueva Oriental
  • Mi Esperanza Course: Sewing and the Mi Esperanza maquila

I have had many good experiences working with Liz Alig making garments out of recycled t-shirts.  I got to meet E.A and make her wedding dress, the groom's suit, bridesmaids dresses and groomsmen suits.

It is good to know that the products I make are sold in the states which mean we are growing rapidly as an organization, and the effort I do is not in vain. That is the reason I try to do better every day.   I have also had the opportunity to participate in Mi Esperanza's micro-loan program. 
In Honduras there are not many jobs available for women and that is why I thank God for Mi Esperanza for giving me the opportunity to be part of this wonderful project. I like the fact that there is not discrimination because of my age, but pure affection and motivation toward me from the staff. Through these seven years I have felt the emotional, economic and moral support.  I feel at home every day that I work at Mi Esperanza.

I have had so many benefits and gifts from Mi Esperanza, I have received a sewing machine that I use to work at home sometimes, fabrics, school supplies and food, When my son had an accident he could barely walk and Lori gave me a pair of clutches for him, that was so nice of her. But the most important thing is that they gave me was the sewing course to learn how to sew. Because of it I am able to work for Mi Esperanza.  I have skills now and I have a job that helps me provide for my family.

I am thankful to God for being part of Mi Esperanza project and I ask God everyday to give me the wisdom to be better. May God bless this organization to continue helping women help themselves.

Romelia Martinez

Lori Connell

In Romelia's words.

I heard of Mi Esperanza back in 2006 when our preacher told us about the courses Mi Esperanza was offering to poor women. I took the reed weaving and piñata making course. After graduating I appled for a seamstress job at Mi Esperanza, and they were kind to give me a job in the maquila. I was doing very good making enough money to support my family, but my husband had an accident that left him physically incapacitated. I had to quit my job, to take care of my husband. During this difficult moment of my life, Mi Esperanza always helped me emotionally and they gave me a wheel chair and a handicapped bed for my husband to help me care for him better.  After a year of taking care of my husband I returned to work at the Mi Esperanza maquila, I don’t know what It would be like without Mi Esperanza helping me and providing me a job.   Because of this job I am able to support my family and give my kids the education they need.

Romelia at a glance

  • Age: 51
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Children: 5
  • Community: Colonia Monterrey
  • Mi Esperanza Course: Weaving course, Piñata course and Sewing Maquila

I have been very busy working on several projects, I love making school uniforms for kids, and bags for the ladies that come visit us every summer, I am so happy to know that they love the product that we make in the maquila. One of my favorite bag is the misquito bag.  I love the fact that these "school" bags helped the kids that live in isolated parts of Honduras.

Because of this job I am able to support my family and give my kids the education they need.

I will always be grateful to God and to Mi Esperanza, I wish there were more organization like Mi Esperanza in Honduras!

Reina Viera

Lori Connell

Reina first learned of Mi Esperanza from her friend Maria Salazar who was a sewing student.  SHe heard of Mi Esperanza's free computer course for women living in poverty. She immediately signed up and she knew this course will be good for her life, but she did not imagine how joining the Mi Esperanza program would change her life and the life of her family. After graduating from the computer course in 2006 she apply for a job in the Mi Esperanza Maquila.

Guadalupe Betancour was in charge of the maquila and she knew about Reyna's sewing skills and recommended that Reina be hired. Reina has part of the Mi Esperanza sewing team for 8 years.  She is so thankful for her work because she has been able to provide education to her daughters. One of her goals was to see her daughter Heydie receive a diploma from a private university. Heydie graduated last year with a degree in business administration, Reina is so proud and happy for her. Heydie is now working on a second degree. 

Reyna at a glance

  • Age: 47
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Children: 4
  • Community: Los Pinos
  • Mi Esperanza Course: Computer, Sewing Maquila

Reina's next goal is to graduated her youngest daughter Stephanie from the same university, currently she is in high school.

Thanks to the salary that Reyna receives from her work at Mi Esperanza, she is able to help her mom with medical bills also.

Reina is thankful to God and to the Mi Esperanza Project.

Glenda Baca

Lori Connell

During the two years Glenda attended class she was eager to learn the skill of sewing.   Sometimes it was hard for her to go to class because she had to prepare for her children to go to school and have lunch ready for her husband, but with effort and perseverance she finally obtain a diploma.  At graduation Glenda received a sewing machine from Mi Esperanza and immediately told her friends that she was opening a sewing business.  Currently she is sewing school uniforms, skirts or whatever the her clients need.  With her knew skill she is able to provide extra income to help with household expenses and buy school supplies for her children. 

Glenda at a glance

  • Age: 32
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Children: 3
  • Community: La Picuda, Santa Ana
  • Mi Esperanza Course: Santa Ana sewing class 2011 & 2012

Miriam Nunez

Lori Connell

Miriam came to Mi Esperanza as so many women do, looking for an opportunity to better her life.   Miriam comes from a very poor community on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa and daily survival has always been a struggle.  Her husband works hard but it still was not enough to meet basic needs and the costs of sending her daughter Crystal to Kindergarten.  Taking the Mi Esperanza beauty course and personal skills course opened doors for Miriam she never had before.  In December 2011 Miriam was hired at Salon New Style to help with the busy holiday season .  When the holiday season was over the owner kept Miriam on because of her good work ethic, personality and willingness to learn.  Miriam is very happy at her work and has a wonderful working relationship with the owner.  Miriam is happy to be able to contribute to her families needs. She was very proud to say her daughter began kindergarten and is doing well.   We are excited for follow her story.

Miriam at a glance

  • Age: 24
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Children: 1
  • Community: Los Pinos
  • Mi Esperanza Course: Belleza/Beauty & Personal Skills 2010/2011

Yuri Vargas

Lori Connell

Yuri came to Mi Esperanza through word of mouth from a friend.  She has always had an interest in the beauty industry but never had the finances to attend a cosmetology program. Yuri finished high school and attempted to start classes on university level but could not afford the costs.

Through her education with Mi Esperanza Yuri is now working at a salon in Tegucigalpa saving money, little by little, to begin her university classes in commerce.  Her vision is to marry her Mi Esperanza beauty training and business education and open her own salon. She knows this will take time but she is willing to work at her goal little by little.  

Yuri works 3 days a week 8-5 at her job.  She is still learning and growing in her skills.  She is currently working with clients with mani/pedi & blow drying. She is 15 mins from home and is extremely happy in her job.  Yuri has big dreams for her future and equipped with education we know she will achieve them.

Yuri at a glance

  • Age: 19
  • Marital Status: Not Married
  • Children: None
  • Community: Sagastume #2
  • Mi Esperanza Course: Belleza/Beauty & Personal Skills 2011/2012


Karla Pineda

Lori Connell

Karla has always loved beauty, and we found during her training at Mi Esperanza she has a natural ability in this area.  Karla graduated in the spring of 2010 and after graduation Karla was working from her home offering services in her community beginning to build a salon business.  In 2011 her father became very illl and Karla went out seeking another job to help buy his medicine.  What she found was a job a Kielsa Pharmacy.  Knowing the skill Karla received from Mi Esperanza her sister wanted to help her realize her dream of owning a salon. In December with the financial help of her sister Karla opened her salon, Salon de Belleza Andreas, named for her niece. The day we visited the salon was very busy and the clients loved the service they received at Salon de Belleza Andreas!   Karla continues to work for Kielsa to pay off the start up costs of the salon and then plans on working full time in her salon.  When Karla opened her salon she invited another Mi Esperanza friend to work with her on the days she is at her other job.  The salon is doing well and continuing to build a cliental.  We are very happy for Karla and her success.

Karla at a glance

  • Age: 25
  • Marital Status: Not Married
  • Children: None
  • Community: Colonia Carrizal #2
  • Mi Esperanza Course: belleza/Beauty & Personal Skills 2009/2010

Karen Trujillo

Lori Connell

February 2012

Karen came to Mi Esperanza in 2009 when she was 22 years old.  Karen has one daughter who is now 6 years old.  Karen came to Mi Esperanza looking for an opportunity that would help her to support herself and her daughter.  Having no skill training or formal advanced education Karen was finding it very difficult to earn a consistent living.  Always having an interest in beauty the Mi Esperanza beauty school was a perfect fit for Karen.  Karen was a dedicated student that worked very hard at her studies. After graduation Karen went to work in the salon where she did her internship and worked there until the salon closed.  Immediately following loosing that job opportunity she found a job at Acyrilica's Salon and has been working there for the past 1 1/2  years.  She is very happy at her job and her employer is very happy with her.  Her responsibilities at the salon are manicure, pedicure, shampoo and massage.  Karen continues to learn and looks forward to expanding her skills and her responsibilities at the salon.  Karen is very happy to be working and supporting her and her daughter.

Karen at a Glance

  • Age: 25
  • Marital Status: Not Married
  • Children: 2
  • Community: Buenos Aries
  • Mi Esperanza Course: Belleza/Beauty School

October 2013 Update

When we arrived at Millennium Salon we found Karen working with a salesman buying product for HER salon.  10 months ago the salon where Karen worked closed and it was then she decided to open her own salon.  Millennium has now been open for 9 months.  Karen is excited to be her own boss.  She says it is hard work, she works 5 days a week 7-5 but loves building her own business.  Since our last visit Karen has gotten married and had her second child.  Karen simply says  "Mi Esperanza changed my life!!"

Irma Ortega

Lori Connell

Irma is happy and excited for the future and she credits Mi Esperanza for her optimism about life.

Irma at a glance

  • Age: 21
  • Marital Status: Not Married
  • Children: 1
  • Community: Via Nueva
  • Mi Esperanza Course: Belleza/Beauty & Personal Skills

 Irma came to Mi Esperanza in the spring of 2010 with a desire to learn more about beauty. During a recent visit Irma shared with us that in the beginning she didn't think she was very good, "I kept burning my hand on the blow dryer."  But two things made her realize that her training could have a future beyond personal knowledge...  1.  After beginning school, her family and friends began asking her to do their hair and nails. "I began noticing that with practice I was getting better." And... 2. Her internship at Afro Style. She began working with clients and realized that her training could be a new career.  After graduation she was hired on at Afro Style full time and worked their until December.  Irma was well liked by her employer and clients.  During that time Irma decided she wanted to go out on her own so she could be a more available mother to her daughter Stephanie.  In November of 2010 she began looking for a location close to her home to open her own salon and on December 1, she opened Bellas Beauty Salon.  Bella (pronounced bay-ya), means "beautiful," and represents all the beautiful women in her life.

There are many single mothers out there that need help

Opened almost 2 months now, Irma is doing well.  Irma feels Mi Esperanza not only gave her a skill but the confidence it took for her to open her own business.  She also shared "the confidence Mi Esperanza gave me went far beyond the classroom. It gave me the confidence to leave an abusive relationship and now me and my daughter are happier and healthier."  Irma goes to a technical high school at night where she is working on her diploma with a business development track.  She is using this education to improve her business.

She is very grateful to Mi Esperanza for the vision to educate women. "There are many single mothers out there that need help"  Irma hopes to continue her education to the university level and she is hoping to send Stephanie to a private, bilingual school when she is five.  In the mean time, she enjoys bringing her to work on occasion and being financially independent for the first time.

Ely "Oneyda" Oliva Betancourt

Lori Connell

Six years ago Onyeda graduated from Mi Esperanza and since then her live has taken on a whole new reflection.  Onyeda has been working at the same salon since her graduation.  After graduation she was hired at Ivonne’s Salon on Blvd. La Hacienda in the capital city of Tegucigalpa.   Yvonne's is one of the leading salons in Tegucigalpa.  Onyeda performs all levels of service within the salon and has built a success cliental.  When Onyeda graduated she did not have any children but now has a daughter who just entered school and is pregnant with her 2nd child.  Oyneda says that her ability to work has lifted a financial burden within her family.  Being able to help her husband financially makes her happy and eliminates a lot of stress for all of them. Onyeda thanks Mi Esperanza for giving her an opportunity to gain an education that is she is using everyday.

Oneyda at a glance

  • Age: 26
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Children: 1
  • Community: Nueva Oriental
  • Mi Esperanza Course: Beauty and Personal Skills

Ledy Martinez

Lori Connell

Ledy lives in Nueva Oriental in a "Torch Mission" house.  She has 2 daughters and is a Mi Esperanza graduate.  Ledy graduated from our sewing program in 2007.  On Saturday we visited with Ledy to see how she was doing and get an update on her life.  We are happy to report that she is doing great and using the skill that she learned from her training at Mi Esperanza.  She has a sewing machine in her home and works for private clients making clothes.  She has also been working in a maquila since her graduation where she makes t-shirts and blouses.  She has been able to add a room on to her home, put in a concrete floor and add a large pila to her house.  Her daughters are healthy, happy and in school.  Ledy shared with us how her education with Mi Esperanza has provided stability for her and her family that would not have been possible without the education she received.  She has consistent work that provides daily needs like food, water, shelter, medical care and education for her daughters. Another Mi Esperanza success story!

Ledy at a glance

  • Age: 32
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Children: 4
  • Community: Nueva Oriental
  • Mi Esperanza Course: Sewing

Updates

July 2015

Ledy is in nursing school! This is a dream she has had since she was a girl.  The opportunities she has/had with Mi Esperanza; education and employment are making this dream come true.

October 2014

Yesterday's visit to the home of Ledye Martinez was beyond inspiring and a blessing. All of her children came running when we arrived in the village, you see their momma was home 2 1/2 hours early because she didn't have 3 hours of bus rides to get home from her work at Mi Esperanza. Ledye and her family are doing amazing and she is open to share that her education with and work for Mi Esperanza continues to move her family out of the cycle of poverty. In Dec. Ledye herself finally graduated high school and she is very proud and her children beam with pride for her. She would like to go on to nursing school but will have to save to be able to take her entry exam, but it is her next goal to be reached, as she said "university is very expensive for someone like me but little by little it will be done" As we looked around we couldn't help but notice the wall displaying all the education diplomas of the entire family..a high priority in this home. And as we sat and visited, there was evidence of the life changing things we know about educating women; All of her children are attending school, her home with each visit improves and her children are healthy, happy and well fed. These markers tell us that the work of Mi Esperanza is on target with our goal to break the cycle of poverty in the lives of women and change the future for children.  Ledy continues to work as production manager for Lizalig and is excited to begin a new assignment with our newest partner in hope Petit Peony.

October 2013

Ledy has become the production manager for our partner in Hope Lizalig.  She oversees all aspects of the bi annually production.  She is known for attention to detail and ethics in her work...we so beyond happy for her to be recognized in this way.    

Paola Martinez

Lori Connell

Jensy Paola Espinal Martínez was one of the top students in her class excelling in all areas of training.  Since graduation she has begun a beauty project in a small section of her house.   Her goal this year is to officially get the operating permit to open a "salon" her salon's name will be PAHO-PAHO. In the meantime, friends, family and neighbors call her for her services, haircuts, Manis and Pedis. Paloa has big visions for her future, she would like to someday own and run a salon in the capital city.  She would feel very proud if her story can serve as an inspiration for other girls.  We are excited to watch Paola's progress with her beauty salon.

Paola at a glance

  • Age: 28
  • Marital Status: Not Married
  • Children: None
  • Community: Los Torres
  • Mi Esperanza Course: Belleza.Beauty Class 2009, Personal Skills & Micro Finance

Updates

October 2014

In 2014 Paola attended an advanced color course with TECH ITALY.  Paola received 100% on her exam and was recognized at the top of the coarse.  Paola continues to run her salon Paho- Paho and teach at Mi Esperanza 

October 2013

On a recent visit to Pao-Pao salon Paola was proud to show us she had updated the ceiling in her salon with new tiles.  She was also recently recognized by "Tech Italy" as an official selling site of their products.

August 2013

Congratulations Paola!  Paola has successfully registered her salon Pao-Pao with the government.  She continues to make upgrades and improvements to her business.  She is now working on obtaining her visa to the USA so she can travel for further education and to purchase supplies for her business.  This summer Paola provided spa nights to TORCH volunteers to earn the funds for the cost of processing her visa. We are so proud of Paola and her hard work!

February 2012

Paola has joined the Mi Esperanza staff!  Paola is now our beauty instructor, she just began her second session of classes in our new salon class room.  Her salon is doing great and she schedules her teaching job around her salon hours.  She recently bought a car with a Micro-loan from Mi Esperanza so that she can move more effectively between the 2 jobs as well as she travels to clients home with her salon business.  She paid her loan back in full in 6 months!  

May 2011

Paola is doing fantastic!  Her business is growing and she meeting all the goals she has set for herself!  During our recent visit Paola was excited to show us her new tile floor.  If you remember from our last update she was saving for her floor....SHE DID IT!   Her next goal is to complete all of the legal paper work on the salon and officially name her salon.PAO PAO (Pow Pow)  We love the name don't you?  Paola is always gracious to provide services while we are visiting..this time she gave Lori and Gina a "hair cocktail" a conditioning treatment.  Lori also got a much needed trim, she did a great job!   Visiting with Paola is always a joy.  She is positive, up beat and optimistic for the future.  Paola also agreed to offer her salon as location for Mi Esperanza students to fulfill their internship.  We cannot think of a better example for our students!

January 2011

We got a call from Paola this week because she wanted to share with us her most recent success.  After the christmas busy season in her salon she was able to buy the tile for her salon floor.  She was very excited and proud and wanted to us to know.  She is now saving for the rest of the materials and labor costs so she can have the floor installed.

November 2010

Celebrating the one year anniversary of her salon "Paho Paho" Paola invited Lori and Gina in for a celapon hair treatment to say thank you to Mi Esperanza for helping her reach a very big dream in her life.  Lori and Gina had a wonderful time catching up with Paola and seeing how she has grown her business in the past year.  It was easy to see that she had been busy.  Since our last visit Paola has added a hair washing sink, shelving, a product display case and painted her salon.   She now offers color services to her clients.  This past year she helped 8 brides with their big day and now travels to 3 communities for clients in different areas of the city.

February 2010

Gina and Lori visited Paola in her newly established salon in the garage of her family home.  When they arrived she was servicing a regular client with a manicure.  Paola says weekends are her busiest days of the week and building a consistent client base.  Her salon is small but she says this is only the beginning!  She is grateful for the education that Mi Esperanza provided her and the opportunity that it has offered her.  Paola is staying actively involved with the Mi Esperanza program as she hopes to be an inspiration to others and want to give back to the program that helped her.

Hilda

Lori Connell

Hilda is one of Mi Esperanza's first women.  She came to us as an abused women of an alcoholic husband. Hilda's husband spent nearly everything he made on alcohol.   She requested a micro-loan to start a business that would enable her to support her and her children and be able leave her abusive situation.  Hilda received a loan of 180.00 US dollars and began her business of selling household supplies like trash bags, toilet paper and cleaners.  Hilda traveled in and around her community to sell her items and began to create an income for her family.  By the time Hilda had repaid her loan her life had completely changed.  Hilda found that HOPE CHANGES THINGS.  With the hope for a different future Luis (Hilda's husband) also saw reason to change.  Luis brought a bicycle with a crate attached and began operating the business.  Soon after, Luis purchased a small motorcycle and continues to work for his family.  Luis has stopped drinking and he and Hilda are very happy.

Hilda at a glance

  • Age: 43
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Children: 3
  • Community: Sector Ocho
  • Mi Esperanza Course: Micro-credit recipient

Updates

February 2014

The micro-loan Hilda received over a decade ago has been a life changing part of her life and the life of her family. Hilda and Luis are still running the family sales business.  Although what they sell has changed over the years the business has maintained their family all these years. With a stable source of income they have had consistent food, water, shelter, medical care and education for their children. All these things break the cycle of extreme poverty. 

November 2010

Visiting Hilda and Luis is always a joy!  Luis has been able to buy a new motorcycle to work the family business, which is a big step up from walking when we first met them.  They have begun a second business..Hilda sells cooking wood at the house for those in the village.    The children are great. Jimmy and Yulissa are in school and their oldest son is working to help the family with expenses.  Luis and Hilda have become community leaders and are a great help when volunteers come to serve the community.  

María Rafaela Salazar

Lori Connell

 Maria Rafaela Espinal lives in the village of Los Pinos.  Maria is happily married with 3 daughters.  Her husband works hard but has an illness that has kept him from consistent work over the years. Maria is a member of the local church and we first met Maria through the work of Torch Missions when Maria and her family were living with Maria's mother. They had a piece of land but were having trouble saving money to build their own home.  Mark Connell's Torch group was able to build them a concrete block house. Maria began training at the Mi Espernaza house as part of our sewing class. Maria wanted to gain a skill she would be able to use to help her family with consistant income. Maria quickly rose to the top of the class as one of our best students. She was eager to learn and was always in class.  Maria graduated with her class and because of her skill and ability was asked to stay on and take a second level of training. Maria is very grateful for the opportunities Mi Esperanza has given her and many women of "low levels of opportunity". She is particularly grateful for what these opportunities will mean to her girls.

María at a glance

  • Age: 39
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Children: 3
  • Community: Los Pinos
  • Mi Esperanza Course: Sewing level 1 and 2, Personal Skills

Updates

October 2013

The most recent photo of Maria was taken when she participated in a uniform project Mi Esperanza was hired to do.  Maria and her family are doing well.  Maria continues to support her family, her husband is disabled.  Her daughters are continuing their education and with that, the walls of poverty continue to break down.