New Bridges Home Offers Economic Opportunity

Lenin in his barber shop.

Johana del Socorro Busto López’s family used to live in a crowded home in bad shape in their community of Piedra Menuda, Nindirí, Nicaragua. However, their lives completely changed when they received a Bridges home in February of 2012. Now Johana, her husband Lenin, her mother Julia Migdalia, and her two children, Jared Lenin and Johana Masiel live in a dignified home more suited to their large family.

Not only will Johana and Lenin’s children grow up in a safer environment, but the Bridges house was also a catalyst for the family’s economic stability. When Bridges built their home, Lenin had just returned from the northern region of Nicaragua, where he worked as a barber and was looking for a job in his home community. When he was unable to find employment, he decided to open a barbershop from the family’s new home. The house served as the base upon which Lenin was able to build his business and support his family. 

Johana’s sewing business.

Thanks to the barber shop’s success in Piedra Menuda, when Lenin and Johana’s second child, Johana, was born, Johana was able to quit her job at a factory in the free trade zone and stay at home with their children. She then started a part-time used clothing and sewing business from their home to supplement the family’s income. 

As both Lenin and Johana’s businesses continued to grow, they were able to go above and beyond just covering their basic necessities: they have made several improvements to their house over the years. The family has stuccoed the walls of the house, painted the home, and put iron bars on the doors for extra security. They have also been able to build a small annex room for the children, a small kitchen, and a porch area. The family has also built a small barbershop area next to the house; it serves as an official space for Lenin to attend to his clients. 

Currently, Lenin earns about 9,000.00 córdobas (approx. $271 USD) in monthly income from the barbershop, and Johana’s used clothing and sewing business earns the family over 1,000.00 córdobas (approx. $33 USD). With this combined income and Julia Migdalia’s sales of fruit at the market, they have been able to pay for the family’s costs, save a small amount for emergencies, continually make improvements to the home, and invest in the children’s education. 

 

Johana and Lenin call the Bridges home a blessing and credit it with transforming the family’s future. They say, “This house gave us a new vision and impulse forward as a family. We have made changes to the home and made it our own. Now we have a space to exist in as a united family and employment in our house. Our goal doesn’t end there. We will continue making improvements to the house.”