From swinging machetes on the farm to providing technical assistance, training, and vision for community members—Yader Espinales perfectly embodies our belief that transformed people transform people.
When we first met 17-year-old Yader, he had left high school and was looking for work. Don Marcos and the Amigos Farm Team offered Yader a full-time job, and they planted the seed of a dream that his story could be more. As they worked together, Don Marcos began mentoring Yader, and he encouraged Yader to not only finish high school, but to dream even bigger.
Yader signed up for weekend classes and spent the next five years studying during the evenings, all while working full-time. In November of 2019, at the age of 27, he received his high school diploma. Today, he has his mind set to a dream that is even bigger – a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering through the support of the Amigos Scholarship Program.
Now Yader spends his work days traveling from community to community, house to house, as a Community Advocate. When life is a day-to-day struggle, dreaming big and taking a first step towards transformation is hard. Yader’s job is to encourage and inspire people each day to dream bigger.
He uses his personal transformation as he works with families to experience their own transformation.
He knows that dreaming big and working hard pays off, and it can really change lives. As he works with people, side by side, his attitude is contagious. Currently, he is helping Doña Lidia’s family by teaching them how to budget so that her family can reach financial stability and build their own home. He also gets to celebrate transformation with families like Don Manuel’s, who he stood beside as they fought for the opportunity to have clean, running water in their home.
In his current role, Yader encourages and inspires people the same way that someone did for him. His life is completely different because of the years he spent working, talking, laughing, and walking beside Don Marcos on the Amigos Farm.
Yader is a representation of our whole team. We know that when we are inspired, we can better inspire others. Transformed people really do transform people, and because of Don Marcos, Yader lives it out every day.