PERSONALTESTIMONY # 1
I am from Olanchito, Yoro, Honduras, and this is my childhood history. I was born in 1973 my history begins when my mom who was a young girl of 17 years old, married a man who abused her verbally and physically; they were both alcoholics; one day while they were both drinking together, he wanted to abuse her physically, as she protected herself using a knife, she wounded him so bad that he died. My mom was taken to prison in Olanchito, Yoro, where she was a prisoner for 8 years. While she was in prison my mom met the man who is now my father, they fell in love and my mom got pregnant and later I was born. I have the privilege to have been born in prison, the prisoners and jail policemen loved me so much, they called me “chiquirín” (a little one or “cicada”)
There was a time when according to the law I could not be in prison anymore. I was taken to live with an aunt, whom I am proud of, because she taught me good things. When my parents got out of prison they went to live in a town called “Nombre de Jesus” about 45 minutes away from Olanchito, Yoro. My grand father left an inheritance of some land to my father, so he took my mom and me to live on the mountain. My parents got along very good, but one day a man came to ask my dad to let him have a piece of land where he could plant a crop of corn. After a while this man fell in love with my mother and they ran away to Olanchito. I was left behind to live with my dad. Later my dad took me to Olanchito, so I could attend to school, my mom left Olanchito and went to live in Roatan. 3 years later she came back to take me with her, she worked things out through a lawyer and she won the case.
I was 11 years old when the real bitterness of my life began. I went to live with my mom, my stepfather, and a stepbrother. They treated me so bad, they insulted me, my stepfather abused my mom when she tried to protect me, he was an alcoholic, and when he was drunk he threw us out to sleep on the street, sometimes our neighbors let us sleep in their homes.
I remember one day my mom bought me some cloth at Christmas time, he got so mad about it and hit her. I promised to myself that I would work hard to make my own money so I purchase my own belongings.
A neighbor gave me a small canoe as a gift which I used to carry ice. In my neighborhood there was no electricity and every thing had to be kept in ice. I made a work contract with the grocery stores in the area to take them the ice they needed, I charged 5 lempiras for each 100 pounds bag. I made enough money to buy my own things, but there were still problems back home. One time I tried to celebrate my birthday and it caused fights, but when my stepbrother celebrated his birthday there were cakes, pictures and all of that, I just could not understand why my mom would let it be that way.
At Christmas time, he was drinking as usual, he came back home with a 3.57mm pistol on hand and tried to shoot my mom, he did not get her, but as I was getting out of the kitchen he shot me in the leg. I got out of the house, bleeding, some neighbors helped me out. They went to tell my mom about my situation. She got so furious, she got a machete with the intention to kill him, but some neighbors stopped her and she only wounded his face.
She left to La Ceiba, I was happy because I thought it was the end of that relationship, but I was surprised to find out that sooner than later they came back together and I had to leavethe house. A neighbor let me live with him, but a month later I left to work on a fishing boat for 4 months.
When I came back I was not the same person. I was about to be 18 years old and I had in mind to take a revenge against my stepfather. While he was drunk, I was waiting for him to get in the house so I kill him with a machete, but the housekeeper stopped me from doing that. This is when my mom decided to separate from him and we both came back to leave in La Ceiba.
I was with my father until I was recruited by the Army. I was in the Army for two and a half years, while I was there I got married and divorced, but I had a daughter who is now 12 years old. 7 years ago I got married again with the woman that I think God has chosen for me; as we started this relationship I started to use alcohol and cocaine with my friends, I had a very good job, I sold meat products in a company whose name is “Embutidos California” that had operations between La Ceiba and Olanchito, I made L2000 lempiras a day, but this is when I started to use alcohol and cocaine. I lost my job, and when I was without a job, I started to steal from my mother-in-law, and from my wife. I stole TVs, DVDs, jewelries etc. I used drugs everyday, and my wife knew about it. she tried to help me out, but it was a very strong disease that had my body trapped.
God´s mercy is so big and he put a big hope in my life, and somebody came to talk to us about an institution called CEREPA; when I was asked, are you ready to get in? I said yes¡ I got in, and I have changed a lot, I have learned about many things that were damaging my life, I have learned to be an honest person, sincere and to love others and specially to love myself and over all I have learned the word of God.
I have accepted God as the only savior of my life because he got me out of the hole where I was.
God bless you all.
PERSONAL TESTIMONY # 2
My life started in 1991 in a poor family, my father and my mother are alcoholics. I had not much experience with them, but in the short time I lived with them I saw a lot poverty and pain. As a result of all this my mother got to the point that had to sell me to a lady, for the amount of twenty lempiras, this lady saw the situation that my mother was going through, so she decided to help us. She took me to an orphanage where I lived until I was 3 years old, my life did not change much, but God had much bigger plans for me.
One day a North American came to visit, she was looking for a child to adopt. Thanks to God. I was chosen. She arranged my documentation and my life changed. She married a Honduran man and had 4 children. My life was so good, I had my own bedroom, my own belongings, every thing that only a loved kid would have. I thought my life was going to continue on that direction forever, but those were not God´s plans. When I was eleven, I started getting along good with an older cousin, he influenced me into something that previously had destroyed my biological parent´s life, I started to use marihuana, I did it just because I wanted to be part of a group, I experienced drugs for a long time, and it took me to do things I never thought possible, like stealing from my family and other people. I started to loose control of myself. I went through six grade in the elementary school, then I went to my first drug rehabilitation program in California. I was there for 6 months. I was so sorry to be there, but it was too late, I promised my parents that I would never do that again. But drug addict are manipulators, and they gave me a second opportunity that I wasted. I got in trouble with my family again; they told me I could not longer live with them, so I had to come back to Honduras and live with biological parents again.
I was 13 years old when I came back to Honduras, it was so strange to me. I was afraid to confront my parents and thought what would I do if they don´t accept me. I gave the address to the taxi driver, he took me there, on the inside, I knew it was the beginning of long journey. I got to my destination, a very small house made of a combination of wood and paper boxes was sitting there waiting for me. I did not want to accept my reality, when I came in there were many drug addicts surrounding the place, I asked myself, “What the hell is this?”. I walked in the house, in a small room there was a man of about 70 years old, I said hello and started to cry, he was a skinny man, without any teeth, he was an alcoholic person, he was the drug distributor in the neighborhood, as I have said in the beginning, my mother was also an alcoholic, she also helped him in the business with gangs.
My mother had 5 children, 2 girls and 3 boys, when I left them they were little ones, now they were adults with not very nice future, my sisters were prostitutes and 2 of my brothers were involved in gang activities.
As anybody can see, this life would never compared to the life with my adopted family. I decided to accept my reality and began living that world, my brother taught me how to survive. I got into the gang. I lived that life until I was fourteen when the police got us and took us to Tamara prison. I was there for 2 months and my brother 2 years.
When I got out of prison, I was taken to “Casa Alianza” which is a rehabilitating center, but it did not work out. I had not learned how to appreciate my life opportunities.
I escaped and went back to live with my father, and once again he offered the drug life and I was getting deeper into that death world. According to my point of view there was no way to get out of there, but God had another opportunity for me. It was a program where I found hope to get over my problem, and be a better person, I decided to take advantage of it. My mother also wanted to rescue her live, but unfortunately her gang friends killed her, I used this as an excuse to fall back in to drug life.
This time could be a deadly relapse, but God again with His mercy gave me another opportunity.
I was taken to a rehabilitation program where I lived for about 8 months. But I made another mistake and they kicked me out. There I was on the street without a place to go. I knocked on many doors but I was refused. I came back to CEREPA and they gave me another opportunity. This can be the opportunity of my life. I have learned a lot here and from now on my plan is to take the good message to other people, so they don´t have to go through the things I did.