Honduras is one of the poorest nations in the Americas, with approximately 65 percent of the population below the age of 29, and 42 percent between the ages of 10-29. To improve understanding of the status and aspirations of youth in western Honduras and facilitate its own strategic decision-making, USAID/Honduras engaged YouthPower Learning to conduct a Youth Assessment using a Positive Youth Development (PYD) lens. The assessment presents challenges for youth, their hopes, and promising new initiatives and policies.
About the Assessment
YouthPower Learning conducted research for the assessment in July and August 2018. Research methods used include 31 peer group discussions (PGDs) with 242 young people living in six regions of western Honduras;1 54 key informant interviews in Tegucigalpa and selected field locations with stakeholders from various donors, Government of Honduras (GOH) ministries, NGOs, and community-based organizations; and a desk review of over 75 documents on contemporary Honduras. After presenting key findings, the assessment concludes with promising programs and structures that promote PYD in Honduras, with several examples, as well as recommendations for the future of PYD in Honduras.
- Across all Peer Group Discussions (PGDs), youth were mainly concerned about the lack of reliable employment.
- The second most significant source of frustration for youth in western Honduras is the inadequate education, training, and skill-building opportunities available to them.
- Crime and violence are consistent themes across the region of western Honduras, with petty theft common and frequent homicides.
- Social and political exclusion are also a key source of youth dissatisfaction. Political polarization runs deep, and the sense of corruption in local institutions causes many young people to feel shut out of political participation and decision-making spaces.
- A majority of respondents identified gender inequality as a problem, with this being a stronger concern among young women.
- Alcohol and drug consumption is common, and many youth see migration as one of the only possible paths to a better future.
Despite many challenges, there are several bright spots. Young people throughout the region are sophisticated in their understanding of the reality in Honduras. They are dynamic and energetic, and they have hope for their futures. They continue to aspire to educational attainment, gainful employment, and better lives for themselves and their families. This should provide an important platform – and source of inspiration – for everyone working toward positive youth development in Honduras.