Comayagua, Honduras, Jul 25 (EFE).- An educational center in this central Honduran city is providing life-changing occupational training for hundreds of young people.
Men and women from different regions of the country have received instruction at the Comayagua School/Workshop, which was founded in 1996 with the support of the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).
Training is offered in occupations that include masonry, welding and ironwork.
And the quality of the instruction is evident, for example, in the restoration work that graduates have carried out at historical monuments in Comayagua, Honduras’ former capital.
EX-STUDENT TURNED CAFETERIA OWNER
The center has offered training to numerous young people in fields including carpentry, wood carving, gastronomy, electrical trades, baking, confectionery and mobile phone repair.
“The barista course at the School/Workshop helped me get a job. I worked as a barista at different cafeterias for at least four years,” said Lilian Meza, who now owns her own cafeteria in Comayagua’s historic center.
Meza recalled that her father, who was a small coffee farmer, encouraged her to start her own business.
She said that led her to the Comayagua training center because of its reputation for “helping small entrepreneurs get started.”
“I benefited by getting access to one of these stores, where I’m paying a small amount in rent compared to other stores that are my competitors,” Meza said of an establishment that offers hot and cold coffee-based drinks and a variety of pastries.
CENTER NOW RUN BY THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT
The AECID’s director in Tegucigalpa, Francisco Tomas, told Efe that the training center is an example of that Spanish government entity’s longstanding mission to help prepare young people for the work world via a “learn-by-doing” model.
The beneficiaries of the training center in Comayagua generally come from low-income backgrounds and have little formal education.
But they are eager to improve their career prospects by learning a marketable skill.
“The School/Workshop is a project in which the AECID had been cooperating for many years,” Tomas said, adding that the Comayagua municipality took over full control in 2005 and today continues to train young people there for the job market. EFE