Alex Humberto Gonzales, or Humberto as he's more commonly known around the 'hogar,' is one of the longest-serving employees in the Amigos de Jesús family. His talent for carpentry and maintenance is exceptional, but his patience, humility, and deep love and commitment to our children is what makes him irreplaceable. Read more from Humberto below:
Humberto, pictured on the right in the blue shirt, with Father Den and several of the young men he works with in the wood shop.
When I began working at Amigos, I was employed as a 'padrino.' There were only 11 boys. Adonis and Sergio, who are now employees at ADJ, were part of this group. And I don't have the words...it is incredible to see them now becoming such good people, so prepared professionally. I am so impressed with them.
Now I work with young people like Alvaro*, Nelson*, and Olson*. They are a big help in the wood shop. To see Nelson (one of our young men who permanently lives and works at the 'hogar') be able to work on specific assigned tasks and to hear him say that he feels like a real carpenter, that makes me feel great.
I am thankful for God, Amigos de Jesus, and especially Amy and Wilson for the opportunities for professional growth that have been provided to us, the employees of Amigos. Through this process, I have learned that it doesn't matter at what age you begin your studies--at first it is difficult but you can be successful.
It is incredible to see the growth and development of Amigos de Jesus. 16 years ago there were two buildings and for the 'Torneo Navideno' (Christmas soccer tournament that is held every year at the 'hogar') it was house one versus house two with seven kids on each team. Now, there are nine teams with 15 players each and that's just the kids' league.
When I was a 'padrino' in 2001, we took the kids to the public school in Macuelizo on an ox cart. Now I can safely say that Amigos has the best bilingual school in the area. I thank God for allowing projects like Amigos de Jesus to flourish in our country.
We learn a lot from the children. One of those things is the capacity to adapt to different environments that we are presented with in life. To be tolerant, to have hope. Despite the actual circumstances we can become good people, we can achieve this through perseverance, love, understanding, and respect. I have learned to forgive. Amigos de Jesus has been a school in my life, as much in the professional sense as in the personal. I have grown as a human being, as a father.
*Names changed to protect privacy.