Hortencia is an artist. She loves to incorporate the beautiful colors of Guatemala into her weaving. When you ask Hortencia about her MENTOR Maria she enthusiastically says, “Maria believed in me. She gave me the opportunities that no one else would. Because of her, I have become a successful businesswoman.”
Hortencia grew up in a small village in Quetzal, Guatemala. Throughout her childhood, the lack of food and diseases were common occurrences for her and her seven siblings. As a result of her family’s poverty, she was only able to attend two years at a primary school.
Her loving mother became her teacher. Teaching her the life-skills of hard work, dedication, and weaving. “My mother taught me all that she could. We didn’t have much, but we did have love.” Hortencia shared with us.
Hortencia discovered that she loved being creative. She started designing and creating new, and more intricate weaving designs. Word spread and throughout her little community and today she is known for her unique designs.
“My life truly changed when I first me Maria from Mentors International. She had a genuine interest in helping me succeed. She not only granted me a loan, but she taught me principles that help me run a proper business. I learned how to invest my profits. I learned how to listen to my customers so that I weave the patterns they would want to by. My mentor Maria continually gives me wise advice.” Hortencia said.
In the beginning, Hortencia could only weave one huipil per month. With the growth of her business, she has hired two other women. Today they can weave between 5 or 6 huipiles per month. She has also diversified her products into girdles, centerpieces, bread baskets, and more.
Hortencia still lives with her parents, but with her increased income has built her own room out of cement block, ceramic floor, and zinc sheet roof. Now she is able to have her desired privacy and weaving area. She takes great pride in her little area and strives to keep it clean. Her weaving income helps support her parents and little brothers who still live at home.
Now Hortencia has begun to dream of having a website where it can advertise and sell her products not only to her nearby communities but beyond her borders.