The Success of Ana Cutzal Sincal from Guatemala

“My mother was one of the best cooks in our village. She taught me everything that I know. I am very fast and good at making tortillas just like my mama.”

Ana is an enterprising woman, mother of two children, one seven years old, who is attending the first grade of elementary school and a ten-month-old girl, she has been with Francisco Jocholá Cocón for 12 years.

Francisco farms a small plot of land in Chiquimula, Guatemala, and because of the inclement weather in their region many times their crops will freeze, or wilt, and it is hard to get their small little farm to produce extra to sell. Francisco would try working various other jobs trying to help support the family. The work and the farming was never a consistent income, and they always wondered if they would have enough money to meet their needs.

Ana thought about setting up a business in their home to help support and feed her family. She wanted to start a tienda tortillería in their home.

This business would allow her to take care of her children and generate income. Unfortunately, Ana didn’t have any savings or financial resources to start this enterprise and purchase the needed supplies. A friend suggested that she go visit the Mentors Guatemala office.

Ana went and met with the staff. She was eager to start this new business. She attended every one of her training classes, even bringing her daughter to class with her at times. Ana was able to qualify for her first loan of about $300 USD. She paid her loan back in half the time. With her added knowledge Ana used her second loan to invest and improve their small farm.

“I knew that my tortillería would be a success. There are no others tortillerías nearby. I now feel very useful and important. I have become a successful business woman. I have been able to improve my family’s lifestyle. We are humble people and do not require many luxuries, but we are eating more nutritious meals and I am very eager for my son to progress in his schooling. Thank you Mentors Guatemala for teaching me, and for believing in me”

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