Dilcia Vazquez lives in a coffee-growing municipality in western Honduras. She longs to see the coffee sector thrive and generate employment opportunities for young people like her, but in recent months she has seen many head off to urban areas, hoping to find more stable income opportunities. Here, she is pictured raking coffee beans so they will dry evenly.

Restoring HOPE: Addressing the root causes of migration

Across Central America, a host of factors are driving high levels of migration, especially among youth. Research indicates that grinding poverty and lack of economic opportunities are the major push factors, but violence and political instability are also key drivers of migration. Back-to-back hurricane systems Eta and Iota that followed similar destructive paths across the region in 2020, as well as the heavy toll of the COVID pandemic, have only further exacerbated the dire situation for many Central Americans. 

But that's not the whole story. 

Williams Isidro Saravia, 30, and his wife Margarita Saraí Parada, 28, pack the chocolate tablets they made in their house just outside of San Miguel, El Salvador.

IN EL SALVADOR, Williams, a 30-year-old father of two, was able to earn a diploma in cocoa production and has started his own chocolate business. Williams buys fermented cocoa beans, toasts, grinds and mixes them with sugar and spices to make a delicious product. His wife, Margarita, and their two children help to package the chocolates. The love of congregations like yours paid Williams’ tuition expenses and now Williams can provide for his family. 

Dilcia Vazquez lives in San Andres, a coffee-growing municipality in western Honduras.

IN HONDURAS, Dilcia, 21, learned the basics of coffee cultivation and is working on her family’s farm, hoping to become part of the next generation of agricultural entrepreneurs. Dilcia watched many of her peers leave for urban areas in search of more stable income opportunities, but because of congregations like yours, Dilcia is able to attend technical trainings and learn the skills she needs to remain home and be successful. 

Maidy Lucia Chun Bamaca (2) outside her family’s home in La Independencia.

IN GUATEMALA, Maidy Lucia lives with her mother and older sister. Before your love provided education for the women in her village, Maidy’s mother was unable to farm and use agriculture as a means to support her family. 

Help restore hope for young people with no options left

Williams, Dilcia and Maidy's family felt compelled to leave everything they had and knew in search of a better life, but the love and generosity of congregations like yours is restoring their hope for a future where they are now — a future where migration isn’t their only option. 

Thousands of young adults across Central America lack these kinds of economic opportunities. But your love can make a real difference. Visit our Congregations page to find out how your congregation can reach our neighbors before they leave home by giving the gift of hope.

Until your love reaches every neighbor.