Skate Brothers

“I think that I am in this world with one more opportunity,” Jessel says, “and this opportunity life gave me I use to rescue the kids here — and the teenagers — so that they don’t have to live the difficulty I lived.” “Why the name Skate Brothers? Because we are a group of friends, and we love like brothers,” Jessel says. “And we decided our name is Skate Brothers because we are more than a club. We’re a family.”

feature film about teens fighting the Cartels without bullets

Jessel Recinos grew up on some of Honduras’ poorest and deadliest streets in a cartel controlled city.  Jessel got involved with one of Honduras’ maras — the vicious street gangs that rule whole districts of San Pedro Sula, which until recently had the highest murder rate of any city in the world. One day, a rival gang member hunted him down because he though Recinos had stolen his cell phone.  The cartel attempted to murder Jessel and shot him several times in the back.  He luckily survived and after recovering from his wounds he found solace in rollerblading and used the sport to keep his city’s youth from joining the local cartel.

While many in his city decide to leave and make the trek to the US boarder, Jessel stays.

“If I go to the United States, I don’t help people,” Recinos says. “My country need help — help the little boys here.”


A former gang member, Recinos was only 16 years old when he survived being shot in the back. The violent experience did not spark revenge but instead gave him the drive to eliminate the presence of gangs across Honduras. To accomplish this goal, he returned to his passion for rollerblading, which occupied much of his time before he became a gang member. In 2011, he founded Skate Brothers, a group for at-risk youth so that they could skateboard, rollerblade or bike ride while enjoying a sense of community. Some of the benefits of this organization include reducing the risk of youth joining gangs and aiding crime prevention efforts in Honduras.

“I joined the club because I didn’t like the streets,” 16-year-old Jeison tells me. “It has helped me a lot physically and mentally, because when I’m not here, I think bad things. And thanks to Jessel, who told me, ‘Join, Join!’ I joined. And, now, I’m off the streets more.”