Women of San Pedro Sula, Honduras

  • Meet Ruth

Ruth, is 43-years-old, and the mother to five children. She has lived in the slums her whole life and in this particular “bordo” since the day she was born. No one that lives there owns the land they live on, so there is always a fear that she will be moved away from where she has spent her entire life. 

She is the second oldest child in her family.  She has six sisters and one older brother who all live in the bordo near her. Since her mother died in 2018, she is the matriarch of the family and watches over all of her siblings and their families.  This includes a sister who is currently in prison, leaving nine children in the bordo.

Ruth is an amazing, quiet woman who is not afraid to work and appreciates this opportunity to supplement the small income brought in by her husband, who works as a shoeshiner.  

Sadly, since Co-Vid hit she and her extended family have all been threatened and had to leave the bordo she has lived in all of her life.  Her family has been relocated with an extended family member out in the country and thanks to the donations of One Common Thread, she has been able to build a new house and has a little more peace in her life.  Sadly, it is far away from many of her siblings.

  • Meet Jessica
Jessica is Ruth's youngest daughter and sisters with Velkis and Damaris.  She was also relocated after the pandemic hit.  She has been sewing a lot because she is now in high school which only meets on Saturdays.  So each Saturday she rides a bus 1.5 hours to the city to attend school.
Jessica is almost 15-years-old and feels like One Common Thread is apart of her extended family.  She must always do school first but then she is found sewing because she told me she loves it!  I keep encouraging her to do things that 15-year-olds do, but I think the sense of creating something others find value in makes her feel confident.  She recently had a room built onto her house with donations to One Common Thread so that she could have a little space away from her parents.  She and her little brother Osvil share a room and a bed and she is excited to have a quinceanera in December 2022.
  • Meet Velkis

Velkis is 29-years-old and has two children, one daughter and one son.  She is the daughter of Ruth.  Her husband works infrequently, but the work she does for OneCommonThread.org provides her the opportunity to buy desperately needed food essentials like powdered milk for her children. She loves the confidence that sewing has given her, as it has changed her way of living.  She now no longer cooks on an open flame in her home but has an oven with a range to cook her meals, and a refrigerator.  She is grateful to have it as a way to make much needed income to help support her family. 

Update:  Since Co-Vid hit there has been less policing in the bordo so Velkis and her families live were threatened severely by gangs.  Since July of 2020 she and her family have fled the bordo and with donations to One Common Thread they have been able to build a new home that houses her family, her sister and her family, and her brother and his family.  

  • Meet Damaris

Damaris is a single mother and has a 6-year-old daughter. Damaris is one of my very favorite Makers because she is such a hard worker. She was born and raised in the slums of San Pedro Sula Honduras and has never known a life any different until recently. Before the pandemic she had started sewing for us at One Common Thread and soon had some extra money to buy some clothing for work. So she took the opportunity to get free pre-school for her daughter by going to work at a pre-school center. She really loved her job and was so grateful that her daughter was able to go with her and receive some schooling.
Unfortunately after the pandemic hit and all schools closed she found herself unemployed and so she began sewing again full time for us. Within 6 weeks of the pandemic hitting the police stopped going into the slums and her area became very dangerous and many of our ladies were told to abandon their homes and all of their belongings or suffer being killed or the young girls taken. It took time but with funds from One Common Thread we have been able to find permanent housing for all of those ladies and their families. For the first time in her life Damaris left the slum she was raised in and moved about an hour outside of the city into a house built by her brother and brother-in-law. They built one large house that fits 7 adults and 5 children. Her accommodations are small but she is so grateful to have shelter, food and safety for she and her daughter. 

  • Meet Delia
Delia is 40 years old and is an amazingly hard worker.  There is never a time I don't see her with a needle, thread and hexagon in her hand.  She has taken full advantage of the opportunity to make money from home.  Delia is one of the few of our makers that was able to keep her home in the slums after the threats of the gangs.  She lives right off of the river in the Pedregal bordo.  She cooks and cleans river side every day when she is not sewing hexis.  
Delia is the mother of one boy and one girl.  Both of her children are grown but both have given her some grandchildren to enjoy.  Sadly, Delia is suffering from some health issues.  She has diabetes and ovarian tumors but she is so grateful for her association with One Common Thread so we can make sure she gets the medical tests and attention she needs. 
  • Meet Nanci
Nanci is 21 years old and the daughter of Delia.  Nancy has a son named after his father, Enrique.  Sadly his father left the bordo with the threats of the gangs so his father is barely in her son's life.  Nanci is a very quiet woman and I can tell she is still unsure of generous people in her life.  However, I know she enjoys sewing and being able to buy "Pampers and Leche" for her son.  She makes beautiful quilts and I always know her work will be top quality.  
Nanci just recently moved into her own little home and has a bed and a stove to cook her meals.  She still shares a bathroom with her neighbors but luckily they are all family members.  Her son "KiKi" keeps growing and growing and is now 3 years old.
  • Meet Nany
Nany is a 17-year-old single mother.  She lives with her mother and father but Nany's mother is a quadriplegic and so Nany is her caregiver during the day while her father collects wood to sell to make money. Nany's daughter Lizeth is just about the cutest and fattest little gal, and that is thanks to the money Nany earns sewing for One Common Thread. Nany is able to provide formula along with breast milk, and some solid foods for her baby. The first change among the children in the slums, when their mothers start sewing, is that they come to life. It is amazing to see these malnourished children get the food they need and literally awaken. Nany is grateful to sew for OCT because that enables her to take care of her baby and her mother.
  • Meet Isabel

Isabel is 25-years-old and has a 4-year-old son, and now a 1 year old daughter. When she was two-months pregnant, her baby’s father was mistaken for someone else and killed by a gang. Her second child's father ran out on her when she was still pregnant.  Her life seems to always be in turbulence as she struggles to make correct choices for she and her children.  This opportunity has given her hope for a brighter future.  She is also grateful for the donations to One Common Thread that have given her some support to rely on.

  • Meet Claudia Juli

This is Claudia Juli, but most call her Juli.  She is sisters with Ruth and Jocelin and he has also lived in the bordo her entire life.  She is 33-years-old and has two children. She and her family had to flee the bordo in San Pedro Sula when the gangs threatened her life and tried to steal her daughter.  She and her long time boyfriend relocated with the two children to the country. 

Juli works hard sewing and trying to make money any way she can.  She is currently renting an unfinished home that she shares with her family.  Many Hondurans who have work in the states start building a cinder block home with funds they earn and send home.  While these homes are being built (because it is such a slow process) they will rent out the unfinished home which is basically cinder block walls and cement floors.  Gratefully these homes usually offer a little more security because they usually have a fence around the perimeter.  Juli feels grateful to be able to rent a safer home. 

  • Meet Skarleth

Skarleth is just a part time maker for One Common Thread and one of the main factors we started the little venture.  At 13-years-old Skarleth needed work to make $5 for a church trip to Tegucigalpa.  Instead of begging for the money she asked me if I knew of a way she could make the $5 needed.  I started her with making hexagons for a quilt I was working on personally and she did such a great job and made the hexagons so quickly I had to pay her much more than the desired $5.  From there it spiraled to her mothers, aunts, and cousins asking for work.  

Skarleth is now almost 17 but already has made such a difference in her community.  I expect great things from this girl as she continues in school and sews. Skarleth is Juli's daughter.

  • Meet Jocelin

Courtney befriended Jocelin at church and is the reason she first started going into the bordo. Jocelin is 35-years-old and has seven children. Her husband has worked many jobs but is currently working at a home doing repairs and improvements.  He makes $20 a day for his 8 hour workday but uses $4 just for transportation because he has to travel 2 hours to the city and home everyday.

Jocelin sews and is busy taking care of her 6 children.  Sadly, her youngest son, Oliver, drowned in a tragic accident last year and so she is also suffering from depression.  Oliver was only 18 months old at the time.  

Jocelin's family was apart of the 28 people pushed out of the bordo by threats of gang violence in 2020.  They had threatened to kill her family and steal her daughters.  So in the middle of the night they fled for their lives.  They have since settled out in the country and have built a house with donations from One Common Thread.  Their home was completely flooded with 6 feet of water when hurricanes Eta and Iota hit in November 2020.  These past few years have been very challenging for her family. 

  • Meet Nataly

Nataly only works every so often but I still feel compelled to give her work because it is so great.  However, she always promises me that school comes first!  She is the oldest daughter in her family and the daughter of Jocelin.  Since she was 7-years-old she has always had a baby on her hip.  She is the ultimate mother's helper.  At 15-years-old she is still silly and funny but appreciates being able to help her parents with the few quilts she has made.  She and my own 15-year-old have birthdays one week apart and were great friends when we lived in Honduras.

  • Meet Karol

Karol is 21-years-old and the oldest of her family.  She has had a very difficult life.  When Karol was just 18 her mother left with a caravan to the states leaving her to take care of her 8 younger siblings.  Karol's dad had just been released from prison and spent most of his time drunk and very little time working to help support the family.  She did a great job for about two years trying to keep the children safe and going to school.  

Sadly, when Colton-Vid hit the little structure she had created collapsed.  Her siblings were divided among aunts and uncles and life has been uncertain ever since.  Karol has spent some time living with her boyfriends family, on the streets, or with relatives.  It is often hard to find Karol.  However, she gave birth in March 2021 to a baby boy and is due with her second child very soon.   We are surprised when Karol shows up with a gorgeous quilt she has produced.  We just never know when we will see her next. 

  • Meet Cinthia

Cinthia is 20 years old and the next in line of her family, after Karol.  So much like Karol, Cinthia has been busy helping to support and provide for her younger 7 brothers and sisters.  Now with the family all separated and Cynthia in and out of homes it has become quite desperate for her.  I worry about her mental well being because life is not easy in the slums of Honduras.  She is often in tears when I speak to her and I pray she can find happiness.  One Common Thread has become the little bit of consistency she has and I pray she can hold onto that for now.  

Since leaving the bordo she moved in with her boyfriend and it doesn't sound like a very good situation.  She is now the mother of a 6 month old son, Christian.  She is still sewing and we try to help her with extra expenses as often as we can.  Life for Cinthia is very hard because like most women she has chosen the wrong kind of man to support her.  We are hoping to help her make better decisions now that she has a child that depends on her.  

  • Meet Wendy

This is Wendy and she is 33 years old. Wendy has two children, and three grandchildren.  Her husband is the brother to Ruth, Jocelin, and Juli. Wendy's family has also had to relocate out of the bordo due to threats of violence.  They have all moved to a city that is an 8 hour bus ride from San Pedro Sula.  

Wendy continues to sew for One Common Thread and rides the bus to turn in her quilts and get more to sew.  Her new house is also made by the donations of One Common Thread.  She also just received 3 beds from donations so now her family is out of hammocks or the floor, and on mattresses.  Her daughter still lives with her but her son has joined the Honduran military thanks to money they were able to earn sewing that gave him the opportunity to get the vaccinations and the supplies he needed to join.

  • Meet Madeline

Madeline is 21-years-old and a mother of a 3 year old daughter.  Since having to leave her bordo in July 2020 things have been very different for her.  She and her family moved 8 hours away from San Pedro Sula and that also means 8 hours away from her baby's father.  

It has been difficult to take care of Bereth on her own, but she is grateful to at least have sewing for One Common Thread.  When they left the city we kept thinking it would be just a matter of time before she and her mother, Wendy would stop sewing.  However, because there are literally no jobs in Honduras they are grateful to still have the work even if it means taking an 8 hour bus ride every few weeks.  

  • Meet Dilvia

Dilvia is 29-years old and has two children. She is married to one of Ruth’s sons. You can't help but smile when you see Dilvia.  She always points out the blessings in her life and is an optimist. Recently, Dilvia and her family also had to flee the bordo and they built a house with donations from One Common Thread.  She now lives out in the country with her husbands two sisters families and her mother.  She continues to try and build a better life for all of her family.

She recently received new bunkbeds for her boys and a new mattress for she and her husband.  She is so grateful how much space the bunk beds have created in their tiny one room home.  She is also grateful for her new bed and the ability to purchase her needed supplies to feed her family of four.

  • Meet Mercedes

Mercedes is 42-years-old and is what we here in the states would call a "jack of all trades".  I have never seen a woman have so many ways to make money!  Before the pandemic hit I would see her pushing her stroller with her youngest son all over town as she sold balleadas to guards and workers all over the city.  Then as her son got to be a little older I would see her with him teetering on the center bar of her bike as she rode around town making deliveries.  

She doesn't sew very much for One Common Thread (because I'm sure it just is too slow for her) but she does take some time to sew hexagons for quilt kits in the evenings.  Mercedes is the mother of 4 boys and keeps one of the cleanest houses I have ever seen in the slums.  Total organization and so much love for her children.  

 

  • Meet Kendy

Kendy is 26-years old and she has three children who are 5,4, and 2. She and her husband Elmer also take care of 2 of Kendy's sisters and a little brother. Her sisters are 13, and 11 and her brother is 9-years-old. Right now Kendy is trying to save enough money to get a washing machine. With the tropical weather in San Pedro Sula there is a lot of rain and that creates a lot of laundry. She is so grateful to work for One Common Thread.

She has also built her own brick oven and cooks food that she sells in the bordo.  Her brick oven is quite impressive and shows how much ingenuity she has.  Recently, One Common Thread provided her with cement for a new floor to her house and a new roof.  She also was able to get a toilet that flushes.  It has been a great blessing to her with a family of 8 all under one roof!

  • Meet Maribel

Maribel is 34-years-old and the mother of four children.  Right now her husband of a common law marriage is not employed.  She has always cooked and taken care of her children.  She has a 6th grade education and her goal is to be happy with her family.  Due to donations of One Common Thread she was able to reroof her house and put cement down on her floors,  and that has brought her a lot of happiness because she is able to keep dry in San Pedro Sula's tropical climate.

Her four daughters are absolutely precious and her oldest is Diana who helps a lot with her sewing.  At almost 15 years old Diana is looking forward to her quinceanera in a few months.  

  • Meet Teresa

Teresa is 29-years-old and a mother to one daughter.  She has lived in the bordo her entire life.  Teresa only has a 6th grade education because she is one of 11 children and her mother could not pay her school uniform expense past the 6th grade.  Many women in the slums of Honduras are unable to continue their education after 6th grade because middle school comes with more expenses that many can not meet.  

She is grateful for the opportunity to work for One Common Thread because she has learned how women have value and can help contribute to the expenses of the home.  She loves to cook and take care of her daughter.  her goal is to see her daughter grow up and receive an education.  

Before Teresa started working with One Common Thread we noticed her because of her adorable pink house in the slums.  Her house was the only one that was painted and she is the most meticulously clean Maker we have.  Unfortunately, Teresa suffers from a lot of health problems due to her malnutrition growing up.  So she is grateful that she is able to get the medical care she needs through One Common Thread. 

  • Meet Zoila

This is Zoila and she is 33 years-old.  She has lived in the bordo for 14 years  She has a daughter, Yacxiri, and she is 13 years old, and a 12 year old step son named Julio.   Yacxiri and Julio were both born in the bordo and they go to school there.  Here is a message from Zoila,

" I am very grateful to God first because he put in my path to good people like Courtney and her family because thanks to them I can have a job by way of making the quilts helps me a lot for our support to buy what we need in our home.  I also thank them for buying my quilts, I sew them with a lot of love with my heart.  Every design on the quilts fills me with a lot of enthusiasm to be able to finish and sell them. My hobby is to be sewing for you and free moments I work in my humble little house that I share with my daughter.   My dream is one day to be able to have my own humble little house and that my daughter can complete her studies. I only managed to go to sixth grade and I am very grateful for your great blessing. Thank you for being part of the group of enterprising women fighters, that today helps us to survive. I give you infinite thanks for your great support."

    • Meet Johanna

    Johana is 21-years old. She has a 4-year-old daughter and is from San Pedro Sula.  She has a 6th grade education and she is grateful to have an income by working for One Common Thread.  Her goals are to go back to school to finish the basics, get a degree, and to give her daughter a better future. 😊  

    Her common law husband was recently injured in a motor cycle accident and lost the use of one of his legs.  He often helps Johana with her sewing.  We have been able to build Johana a much safer home away from the river she was living 10 feet away from.  During rainy season her home almost washed away many times but now she is up on the cliff side and in a much safer location in a house that is about as big as a childs room but has cement floors and a new roof.

       

      •  Meet Mariela

      Mariela is 22 years-old and has one son.  She has a 3rd grade education and fears for any time her son gets sick.  The best thing that has ever happened to her was having her baby.

      Recently she has been able to get a new roof and a new floor in her home.  We also purchased her a new oven range so she can cook without being on an open fire.  She is loving the improvements she has been able to make because of her work with One Common Thread.  

      • Meet Geidy

      Geidy, pronounced Hay-dee is 21 years-old and does not have any children.  She is married and her husband gets work sometimes but nothing consistent.  She says the hardest trial she has ever experienced was losing her child and her father.  She says the best thing that has ever happened to her was celebrating her quinceñera when she turned 15!

      Recently she added onto her tiny house with wood siding instead of the plastic landscaping tarp she was using for walls.  She was also able to put cement down on her floor.  She has very little but you will never see Geidy without a smile on her face.  She also purchased a commercial style range/grill so she can cook food and sell it on the weekends.  This opportunity has given her so much self worth and she is grateful she can sew for One Common Thread. 

       

      • Meet Blanca

      Blanca is not married and currently works as a housekeeper during the day.  She has one son, she is 27 years old and has a 6th grade education.  She wants to sew so she can provide more for her son and she says the best and the hardest thing she has ever experienced was having her son!

        

      • Meet Neidy

      As a mother of three, Neidy is grateful to have the opportunity to work.  She is 36 years old and has been helping her sister sew, so she is excited to make her own creations.  She is grateful for her children because they bring her the greatest happiness.  

      Neidy's oldest child is Tito and he has graduated from high school.  Recently, One Common Thread helped him find a job so he could save to pay for an education at the University of Honduras.  Tito is also very promising because he made it a goal to learn English and has done that mostly from watching TV in English.  He also has two little sisters that are 13, and 6 so he helps his mother with supporting them as well. 

         

      •  Meet Rosa Guadelupe

      Rosa has been helping her sister-in-law, Isabel, sew for awhile now.  She has three children and a 6th grade education.  Sadly, she lost her home and everything she owns to a terrible fire that burned 10 shacks in the bordo back in October 2021.  It has been such a struggle for her this past year because of the fire and the pandemic.  She is grateful to sew because she says she likes to sew a lot and it provides for her children.  She also takes care of her father who is elderly and very ill.  She is a very hard worker and is trying to save for a weedwacker so her oldest son, who is 14, can do yard work and help earn an income.  

      • Meet Clivian
      • Clivian has been sewing with her sister Delia for awhile now, to support her three children. She is 26 years-old and does not have a husband or boyfriend to help support her or her children.  Her boys are 11, 7, and 5 years-old.  She is so grateful to have employment where she can work from home to support her children and lists having these boys, and raising them on her own, as the hardest thing she has ever done, however they are also the best thing that ever happened to her. 
      • She went to school until 4th grade. Her mom died so she stopped going to school. At the age of 15 she got pregnant with her first son. She dreams that her boys will continue studying and that they can get opportunities she didn’t have growing up. Her oldest son dreams of being and architect.   Clivian also makes tortillas daily to sell to other people in the slums.   

      • Meet Yanori

      Yanori pronounced Janori is 24 years old.  She has 1 son.  She is so grateful to sew quilts because she has no money.  The father of her son has a job but he does not always give her money for food so she knows she needs to provide for him herself.  Her son is in kindergarten and he is doing school online.  She is grateful to have this work so she can help him and stay at home.  

       

      • Meet Karla

      Karla is from a large family. Her mother has 6 children and is pregnant with her 7th.  Karla moved out to live with her cousin Karol who just had a baby.  She is 19 years old and does not have any way to support herself so she decided to give sewing a try.  

       

      •  Meet Kendy.  
      She is a mother and is sewing so she can afford medicines for her her father.  

       

      •  Meet Perla

      She is part of a group of Makers who live an 8 hour bus ride to San Pedro Sula.  She is a mother and works so she can buy food for her children.  

       

      •  Meet Maria

      Please meet Maria Fernanda  She is working so she can make money to continue her education. 

       

      • Meet Leslie

      She is a new Maker with the group that is 8 hours outside of San Pedro Sula.  She is working to provide food for her children.

       

      • Meet Evin Aloha

      This is our dear sweet Evin Aloha.  Evin is 19 years old and has three children, and has an 8th grade education.  She is grateful to have employment where she can stay home and take care of her children. When asked what one of the hardest things she's ever done she mentioned getting work and she also listed that as the best thing that has ever happened to her!

       

      • Meet Velkis Mirella

      She is 22-years old and has one child. Her "husband" is a bricklayer but has not had work for awhile because of the pandemic.  She has completed the 9th grade.  The hardest thing she has experienced in her life was losing her mother and but she is grateful to have her husband and her daughter to comfort her. 

       

      •  Meet Nery Vanessa

      She is 21 years old, has a 5th grade education and is a single mother.  She is excited to sew to support her daughter and considers her the greatest blessing of her life.

       

      • Meet Norma
       She is a recent widow.  She is 58 years old and has two children.  She really likes sewing and is grateful to have some work doing what she likes.  She has completed her secondary education and is a commercial expert.