Six months after my son Carlos Thomas (who was called “Tom” growing up in the U.S. and as “Carlos” in Honduras) went back to Honduras, he moved in with the Rubio family. Rixa, Frank’s aunt, was definitely the matriarch and everyone knew it. She supported the entire family by cleaning streets and passing out small wads of toilet paper for 2 limpera in the city washrooms. Rixa had raised two of her brother’s children who were dropped off to her house when they were 2 and 3 years of age. Abandoned just like my Tom had been when he was a baby.
Tom soon became friends with Frank Joel Rubio, the older of the two boys, as they were fairly close in age. Tom was trying desperately to learn Spanish, and Frank was working equally hard to put into practice the English he had picked up from watching American television. Between the two of them, they were able to communicate through their newly created “Spanglish”.
When I met Frank at seventeen years of age, he still had not graduated from high school. There just wasn’t money enough to pay for it. Through Niños de Carlos, I was able to help Frank get back into school. He stuck with it for the next two years and graduated. He currently works in a hospital in Tegucigalpa, Honduras where he can earn a modest living. Even a modest living is out of reach for most Hondurans, who are unable to obtain an education. This is why I am so excited about the role the Niños de Carlos Foundation can play in helping Honduran students with the chance to rise from poverty.