#20years20lessons Lesson #6 ~ Padrino Antonio Quintanilla

Padrino Antonio is the 'padrino' that has been working at the 'hogar' the longest. He currently works in one of our boys dorms and also plays an important role in the lives of many of our young men who permanently live with us. Read more from Padrino Antonio below:

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Well, I began working at Amigos de Jesús, I think in 2011, and for me it has been really important and I’ve learned a lot being able to work for this organization. I know this place is important because here they are working with young people – boys, girls and teens. For me, it has been a beautiful experience being able to work in all of this. One of my dreams since I was a kid was to work with people and thanks to God, here that dream has become a reality.

The kids haven’t just taught me one thing but so, so many things. The biggest thing the kids have taught me is to become docile with them, docile in my way of being. They have taught me how to see things from a new point of view, in a new way. In a more positive way, instead of in a negative light. That’s what the kids always teach me, because sometimes, no matter how negative they might be feeling, there always comes a moment when they come and say, “I’m sorry padrino for what I said to you before.” So that’s what I have learned more than anything – to be positive. To see the positive always in them and in everyone. They have taught me that a lot. And that’s why I always say now, “I’m positive in everything.” I don’t see the bad things as much anymore and the kids have taught me to see things in that way.

I think the part that is the best of all is that Amigos de Jesús, for me, can be summed up in one word – Love. That is what I have wanted and gotten from, and at the same time that I’ve been able to give to, the kids, the teenagers, and really all of the people who live together here with me. Love is above everything else. And I know sometimes they say that love is lost these days, but really, I am among people who like to recover it and show it in the best way possible.

Meeting the volunteers here, who come from such a different lifestyle I think has also had a big impact on my own life - learning how to work with other people, not just Hondurans, but people from other countries, too. That’s really important for me.

The directors, as well as our lawyer (Suyapa), and Father Dennis have all also taught me so much. All of these people, who I’ve really tried to follow as an example. In their way of being, they have demonstrated so much and helped me learn a lot. 

So thank you. Thank you for the opportunity you have given me. For me, it has been one of the best experiences, an amazing learning experience. Thanks to these kids and the people who I have met here at Amigos de Jesús, I think my life has changed, or I could even say completely turned around, from how it was in my other years of life. I am thankful to all of the people who have really strived and put in so much effort so that I was able to change so much through Amigos de Jesús.

I also know that God is with every one of us and I know that He is with me too. So everything that I have gained here I want to put it in the hands of God so that everything can turn out the best way.

So thank you again. Thank you so much to all of the people, as I’ll say again, from whom I’ve been able to learn so much. Having these people, I just give all of my respects to the example that they have shown us, and shown me specifically. I am proud because I know these people have completely changed my way of being.

You know, before I had the feeling, I guess, that I had everything I needed and that I could do anything. But in reality, that wasn’t true. When I came here, I came to the realization that I was missing so much, and today I am able to just say thank you for filling the spaces that were in me – boys, girls, and kids of Amigos de Jesús. Thank you.