A Mother First, Boss Second

Laura Leticia Amador’s 8-month-old daughter, Gibelly, cooed in a baby car seat in the shade of the family’s tiny pulpería, Mercadito La Bendición (The Blessing Market). Amador peered down at her youngest child, her voice rising and falling in Spanish baby talk.

Nearby were two of Amador’s older children, ready to assist. It was hot outside and, every few minutes, a customer stepped into the business in Colonia Palmira for something cool to drink.

Amador, 36, opened Mercadito La Bendición seven years ago. She said it’s the easiest business to open in Honduras. Here, aside from the usual merchandise (snacks and beverages), the mother of four sells food and even licuadas — a blended beverage similar to smoothies, made with milk, fruit, and usually ice.

“We’re in an area adonde se mueve mucho (where there’s a lot of movement). There are a lot of offices around,” Amador said. “It’s easier for customers to come here over a supermarket.”

Gibelly cooed again, flailing her arms up high. Amador looked down at her youngest with a tender smile.

For Amador, it’s a tricky balance being both a mother and a boss.

“It’s a daily struggle, to give them a good education,” Amador said. “It’s not all work — you have to dedicate time to your children. It’s hard, but you have fun because you’re working alongside your children and together you move forward.”

Amador said the most beautiful role she plays is that of a mother.

“It’s the greatest blessing God can give,” she said, “is to be a mother.”

The International Women’s Media Foundation supported Amaris Castillo’s reporting from Honduras as part of the Adelante Latin America Reporting Initiative.