Erick Barrondo's visit to SHARE clients in San Martin Jilotepeque
On November 08 of 2015, SHARE Guatemala held a gratitude activity for all of their best clients from the San Martin Jilotepeque community, which is located in the department of Chimaltenango. The clients arrived at the “Salon de Los Jubilados” around 10 A.M. This place is located a few meters away from the central park of this beautiful town.
Everyone looked forward to the beginning of the activity, when unexpectedly and without any notice, the Olympic medalist and Guatemalan athlete, Erick Barrondo, enter the place where all the clients were gathered. The athlete was received with a round of applause, greetings and smiles denoting the happiness of the participants.
The activity started and Barrondo started to give a motivational talk to all the loyal customers from San Martin Jilotepeque.
Erick began to tell stories of his life that would inspire and motivate the attendees of the activity. He said that he was a very hyperactive child. For that reason, Erick’s dad motivated him so he could began to run along with his mother every day. One day while participating in a school physical education activity, he injured seriously his left knee and almost truncated his dream of being a successful athlete.
After recovering from the injury, he began to train again and confessed that one of his dreams was to win the famous Marathon of Coban. He told everybody that he had an amazing coach that motivated him every day and told him to stay strong and never give up. One day, his coach suggested him to enter the world of racewalk, something in which Barrondo completely disagreed since his dream was to be a runner, but he decided to give it a try.
With only a couple of days after he started to racewalk, he decided to travel to Guatemala City and participate in a competition of racewalk and finished in second place. Erick confessed that he never imagined that he would ever win a prize with only a couple of days practicing that sport.
Barrondo told the attendees that after obtaining this victory, he took the decision to travel to Guatemala City once again and train at the National Athletics Federation. He said that those days were very hard and difficult in which he had to survive with a small budget, he slept under the bridge outside the Mateo Flores stadium for 3 nights and lived in a room with other 17 athletes who trained hard every day to achieve their dreams.
"When you’re about to give up, it’s a sign that you’re closer to make your dreams come true." said the Guatemalan athlete while attendees listened to him very carefully.
Erick gave an advice to all the SHARE customers who are parents and told them to teach their children to appreciate the efforts that their parents do for them. He also said that the best legacy that they can give to their children is to teach them to love their jobs and that if they have that attitude, they are going to survive and be successful in life.
The Olympic Medalist confessed that the first reward he had of all the efforts and sacrifices made was reflected as he won his first international competition at an event held in Mexico. Erick finished the motivational talk saying several phrases that motivated all attendees of the event.
Barrondo said the following phrases:
- "God gives opportunities to everyone, it depends on each of us to take them or let them go."
- “Don't let anything for tomorrow. You must start acting today”
As the motivational talk ended, the local people had the opportunity to ask questions to the Guatemalan athlete or give their opinions about the activity.
A SHARE Guatemala client congratulated Barrondo for being a great example to the community and all of the youth of Guatemala. She also thanked SHARE for giving them the opportunity to meet and listen to the athlete who was inspirational with his motivational talk. She said:
"I never imagined that I would meet him, I watched him on television, Internet and the press but I thought I would never had the chance to see him in person."
Another participant gave thanks to God for the SHARE Guatemala institution and commented that she has been a loyal client for 10 years. She mentioned that with SHARE’s help she has been able to succeed in life. She commented that Barrondo’s story reminded her of her childhood and motivated her to stay strong and never give up.
She also said: "This was not a waste of time, this morning we learned how to grow up as entrepreneurs”
She finished thanking Erick for not refusing to visit the community of San Martin Jilotepeque.
A member of the SHARE team asked Erick about what were his feelings when he was traveling back to Guatemala with the Olympic medal. The athlete said that when he was traveling from London to Spain, people applauded him for the victory. He said that he also felt fear to imagine the number of people who would be waiting for him. Then, in the midst of laughter, he mentioned that he had prepared to win the medal but not to give a speech to the people.
The clients were even more surprised when Eric Barrondo gave a surprise to all of them and gave them a picture of him, with the logo of SHARE and his signature on the back of it.
Before the activity ended, people had the opportunity to take a picture with the Olympic medalist, participate in contests, raffles and eat a delicious lunch and a piece of cake.
Both organizers and attendees were very happy at the end of the activity. With this type of activity, we show the value of the institution which has always been to transform lives in Guatemala.