The Success of Armen Patzan Chijur from Guatemala
At the age of seven, Armen Patzan had to drop out of school and start working alongside his father on a small farm sowing corn and beans, in the village of Chimachoy, Guatemala. Circumstances were difficult and deprived Armen of the opportunity to further his education. Armen was only able to complete the second grade.
At seventeen years of age, Armen married his childhood sweetheart Maria Florentina. Together they have ten wonderful children. Armen and Maria became farmers, because that is what they knew. They worked hard planting and harvesting corn and beans just like their parents, to support their large family, but found the poverty they were raised in repeating itself.
Hilder Rolando, a good friend of Armen, told him about Mentors Guatemala. Hilder contacted the mentor that was assigned to his area and introduced him to Armen. Armen was excited as he anticipated the possibilities of growth for his business. He shared his excitement with Maria and she agreed to support him in his classes. Armen qualified for his first loan of approximately $200 USD. That year he purchased some land and was able to sow a new and stronger variety of corn.
As Armen eagerly tended to his corn crop that year he experienced his best harvests to date. He wisely used his increase in income to pay back his loan, invest in better seeds for planting, and take better care of his family.
The following year Armen applied for another loan of $330 USD from Mentors Guatemala. He purchased more land and started planting cabbage in addition to his other crops. Once again he was blessed with a good harvest and he obtained a profit of $605 USD.
Armen expresses his gratitude for the support of Mentors Guatemala. Armen says, “The training and loans have been a great blessing. Through the growth of my business, I have been able to give my family a better life. My children are able to receive the education that I did not. I feel that God has blessed me with this opportunity. I continue to increase my business and the crops I can offer. Now I help my friends and neighbors with employment on my farm. Our entire community has been blessed with progress thanks to the support of Mentors Guatemala.”