AMIGO OF THE WEEK ~ Carlos (the Welder)

Carlos is the head of the welding shop at Amigos de Jesús. He makes beds, shelves, and other much-needed metal materials for the Amigos de Jesús family, as well as mentors many of our older boys who apprentice in the shop with him at different times. Carlos is known for his wide smile, friendly demeanor, and impressive soccer skills. When the kids go offsite, they often spend time at an ice cream/chip shop near his house, and Carlos is always quick to greet and hug the kids whenever he sees them.

Learn more about Carlos in his interview below:

  1. Hometown: Pozas Verdes, Honduras
  2. Role at Amigos: Welder
  3. Joined the Amigos de Jesús family in: 2013
  4. How did you first hear about Amigos de Jesús?
    I first heard about Amigos through the kids. The kids often visit near where I live when they go offsite. So first I saw them, and then I got in contact with the directors when I was looking for a job. They hired me to work as a welder on a 15-month project at Amigos in 2013. When that job was finished, they hired me to be the permanent welder in the welding shop at Amigos.
  5. How did you first learn to weld?
    I apprenticed at a welding shop in San Pedro Sula when I was younger. That is where I learned how to use the different tools -- the welding torch, the polisher, all of those things. From there, I began to make my own projects and learn more and more through practice. I ended up working at that shop in San Pedro for 8 years total.
  6. What types of things do you make in the welding shop at Amigos?
    A whole bunch of things. The directors will come to me with requests for projects that are needed around the hogar (home) and I will work on them, along with some of the older boys who help me out. We make things like beds, roofing beams, shelves and racks for the school classrooms and the kids' dorms. Things like that.
  7. What has been your favorite welding project at Amigos?
    Well, I have to say that all of the projects have really been my favorites. When I first began working at Amigos, I just remember the work being difficult. I was still getting used to the job and I was making things I had never made before. But once I got comfortable, I started to get more passionate about the work I was doing. And I really love making everything. But lately, one of my favorite projects has been making the roof for the new chapel at Amigos. It was a huge project and it required me to weld while hanging from the rafters. But it has turned out beautifully and I feel happy that I got to be a part of that project.
  8. You work a lot with our older boys at Amigos. Can you explain a little more about that? 
    Yes, the boys that I work with are great. The padrinos (caretakers) will send older boys to me for a lot of different reasons. Sometimes the boys are on vacations from school and come to the shop to do a práctica (internship), some of them have studied welding in school and want to get some more practice, and some of them are sent to the shop to work as a little bit of a punishment. But the boys always behave well when they come and they are hard workers. 
  9. What is your favorite part of your job? 
    My favorite part is getting the chance to teach the kids that help me a skill that I learned myself when I was young.
  10. Do you have a favorite memory from your time at Amigos?
    I think my favorite memory looking back is just how passionate I have become about this job over time. When I began, I thought the work was so difficult, but the longer I am here, the more I have come to love Amigos as an organization. Now I am passionate about doing my job well to help keep making Amigos de Jesús a better place.
  11. You are known around Amigos as one of the best soccer players here, and you were on the winning team in last year's Christmas Soccer Tournament. Did you ever play for a team outside of Amigos? How did you learn to play so well?
    I played in local leagues in the area for many years with a lot of great players, and we even went to the championships of the departamento ("state" in Honduras) of Santa Bárbara. I played in four tournaments around here and I have also traveled with my team to play in other cities. Soccer has always been an activity I like to do in my free time.

Carlos (top row, center, white shorts) and his team Juventus after winning the 2015 Amigos de Jesús Christmas Soccer Tournament.