At the age of 16, Jessel fell victim to gang violence when he was shot in the back and almost killed. After recovering from this horrific incident, Jessel decided to use his experience to make a positive change in his community. He founded SkateBrothers, a youth club with the purpose of engaging young Hondurans into a supportive network that rejects gang culture and promotes community cohesion. SkateBrothers has been running for seven years, and it has built the first ever skate park in Honduras. The park provides young people with a safe haven, free from violence and the pressure to become a gang member.
Honduras has one of the highest rates of homicide per capita in the world1, often resulting from gang violence. The threat of violence has forced many people to flee their homes, with families migrating north in the hope that they will be provided refuge in the United States2. At least 700 young people have been positively engaged through SkateBrothers. The park has given them a place to meet and collaborate in a social setting they can call their own. Young people are able to develop both their sporting abilities and their social skills, whilst gaining a support network that shuns violence. SkateBrothers is also working on a nutritional programme that will help low income families gain access to food.
Last updated: 11 April 2019