Maria Alonzo lives in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. She is kind, strong, innovative, and determined to care for her children. When Maria was pregnant with her second child, her husband passed away. Maria had to consider what she could do to take care of her daughter and the baby that would soon come. With the little savings that her husband left her, and with the help of some relatives, Maria managed to sell some fruit juices from the front of her house. The sales of the juices helped Maria to reach her goal of caring for her family, but it wasn’t enough to build a future on.
A neighbor told Maria about Mentors International in Guatemala and how the organization had helped him, he believed they could help her too. Maria found the nearest office and met with the Mentors team. She applied for a loan and attended their business training. (Children are welcomed at our training classes because many mothers cannot afford child care.)
Maria soon was able to expand her sale of juices, not only in quantity but in diversity as well. Over time, her mentor suggested that Maria add new items to her small tienda.
Maria began a small tortilla shop to sell along with her fruit juices. As the tortilla sales grew, Maria started to make other food for sale. She is now selling her food at the mayor’s office, in schools for teachers, and to anyone that passes by her shop. Maria is always ready with fresh products, food, and a warm smile.
With all her business ventures, Maria has managed to fulfill her dream of providing food, shelter, and education for her children. As is customary for Maria, with her big smile she says. “Thanks to Mentors International for having offered me a hand up at the crucial moment of my life and for supporting me in each of my achievements.”