The cramped space in Colonia Palmira where Cynthia Gonzalez stood with her mother and two of her siblings is called Mercadito La Bendición (The Blessing Market). It was a warm Saturday afternoon and customers filtered in and out of the tiny pulpería for cold beverages.
The walls that envelop Gonzalez and her family are lined with potato chips and other snacks. As the eldest of four, the 23-year-old helps her mother, Laura Leticia Amador, a lot with the family’s pulpería.
“It’s (the pulpería) important because this is where our food comes from, where our studies come from,” Gonzalez said. “I think the best part of this business is the attention we provide. We give good customer service. People always tell us that they like coming here because of the attention we provide.”
Gonzalez said she’s been working with her mother since she was 16 years old.
“I tend to the clients, we buy (merchandise),” she said, her big almond-shaped eyes looking around the small business as she thought hard. “We load the freezers, we stock products.”
Like many Honduran youth who help their family business, Gonzalez’s dreams stretch far beyond the pulpería.
“I want to be a teacher because I have always loved children,” she said, adding that she plans on enrolling soon in a special school for educators. “Recently I had the opportunity to work in a bilingual school as a helper and I liked it.”
That’s when, Gonzalez said, she realized that it was a gift from God to become a teacher.
(LISTEN: Gonzalez shares why she’d like to become a teacher in the below audio clip)
The International Women’s Media Foundation supported Amaris Castillo’s reporting from Honduras as part of the Adelante Latin America Reporting Initiative.