The Success of Maria from Guatemala

Maria said that her success is due to a mother that taught her the skill of weaving and Mentors International in Guatemala that believed in her dreams. “Mentors International extended a loving hand and provided the financial support I needed. I am very grateful for their help,” Maria says with enthusiasm.

In a small village in Chimaltenango, Guatemala lived a young girl named Maria. Maria’s mother was very proficient at the art of weaving and taught Maria how to weave belts and huipils (traditional garment worn by indigenous women). As a young girl and growing into her teenaged years, Maria did not give any importance to the skill of weaving she learned.

When Maria was in her early twenties, she met, fell in love, and married Santos. In time, their family grew and were blessed with six children. Maria was aware of the hardship their large family put on her husband to provide and she wanted to do what she could to help support financially.

As she shared her concerns, her mother suggested that she start weaving again. Maria liked the idea but had no money to purchase any supplies. She contacted a family member and received a loan for $30 Quetzals ($3.50 USD). This gave her the opportunity to purchase some thread to make a belt. In a week Maria finished weaving the belt and sold it for $75 Quetzals ($9.70 USD). With this small profit, Maria purchased enough thread to make two belts, but she longed to have more money available for supplies to increase her profits.

It was around this time that Maria was introduced to Mentors International through a friend. Maria found the much-needed education and support through Mentors International. She was able to qualify for a loan of $130 USD and purchased enough thread to make a huipil which she sold for $234 USD. Maria gained a great appreciation for the skill she learned as a young child. Through her continued weaving, sales, savings and MENTORING, Maria has helped her children receive additional education and a better life.

Maria has taught her daughter the art of weaving and together they are currently working on four huipils. They feel that passing their weaving skills down from generations to generation has become a great blessing in their lives.

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