What impact can a small shortbread or an oat biscuit have on a child? He does not eat it. He does not sell it. But, in these biscuits, he is receiving skills that will help him forge a career for himself in the future.

In a small workshop a short walk away from the JUCONI Youth House in Puebla, Mexico, the youth have the opportunity to make biscuits that are sold to a local company. Vocational and skills training has become an important part of many international development initiatives, but JUCONI continues to set itself apart.

The boys are not part of a new generation of bakers. In fact, the baked biscuit is barely important. It is the process that is important, not the product.  The boys are being encouraged to develop strong work ethics, to understand employee-employer relationships, to have the ability to create a CV, and to have a strong attention to detail in all of their work.  The boys’ participation is not automatic, but must be earned through good behaviour and positive development.

In this environment, the boys are setting their own paths in careers that they are interested in and passionate about. They are developing the tools that will set them apart for employers.