USAID HONDURAS - Jessel and the Skate Brothers

DP / EDITING: Thomas Cristofoletti
PRODUCTION: Nicky Corbett / USAID and Kelly Ramundo / USAID
MUSIC: Ryan Huff

Jessel grew up in Cofradía, a town outside of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, a city that has been called “the murder capital of the world.” He watched people become numb to senseless violence like the gunshot that nearly killed him; he knew he had to do something about it.

“I didn’t want to seek revenge,” Jessel said, “because the bullet not only pierced my flesh, my skin—it pierced that life that I was living. It ended this erroneous mentality that I had and changed it into something positive.

That is when he decided to create Skate Brothers, a club where at-risk youth learn rollerblading, skateboarding, BMX and breakdancing.

Since it was formed in 2011, the group has grown to about 50 members who perform in street fairs and parades and volunteer to support their community.