Like many Compassion vocational tutors around the world, Mauricio is gifted in spotting each student’s potential. And sharing a similar background with them, he can also empathize with and understand their struggles.
“For me, it is important to invest in my students’ lives. What inspires me is that we don’t see any children in the program lost on the wrong paths. In this community, they have easy access to alcohol,” says Mauricio. “The influence of gang groups is strong. They attract the young people by offering that they can gain easy money by taking on a risky task.”
Three days a week, Mauricio teaches two groups of six students traditional textile techniques. The youths treat him as a close friend. “I try to guide them to become good people and wise professionals who use their talents to improve their way of life,” he says. “I encourage them to live lives that glorify God.”
After preparing them with practical skills, Mauricio works to open job opportunities for them in the community. “Some of our children’s families have their own textiles machines at home. When a teenager learns the trade well, they can help their family in the business and support their families to have food on their tables,” he explains.
While Mauricio invests in his students, he also learns from them. One student who personally inspires him is 18-year-old Estiben. Estiben has five siblings, and each day his family battles challenges and need.