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Claudia: A Budding Businesswoman in Guatemala

Home > Learn More > Stories & News > Claudia: A Budding Businesswoman in Guatemala
By Karla Recinos, ChildFund Guatemala
Posted on 10/18/2016

Claudia, a young Guatemalan woman, makes and sells woven fabric after taking business workshops through ChildFund.

In Guatemala’s central highlands, unemployment rates are sky high, especially for young adults like 19-year-old Claudia. About seven in 10 people in this region live below the world poverty line, with few opportunities to make a better living.

To give future generations a shot at escaping the cycle of poverty, ChildFund and our local partner organizations in Guatemala’s highlands offer a program called “My Chance” to help teens and young adults develop skills to start their own businesses.

Claudia has been sponsored since she was 5 years old, so she’s familiar with ChildFund’s programs for children and youth of all ages, beginning in infancy. In Guatemala, we help prepare children for primary school by teaching them how to count and say the alphabet, train guide mothers who can educate other parents about healthy child-rearing skills and good nutrition, and encourage literacy and self-expression in school-aged children.

One day, a ChildFund staff member suggested the My Chance program to Claudia, and it struck a chord. “I started participating in the workshops and training,” she says, “which has supported and motivated me to keep going on this adventure of being an entrepreneur.”

Today, Claudia has a business creating colorful, traditional Mayan-style sachets and scarves, which she makes on a loom.

“In the workshops, we discovered our skills and could be productive doing what we already knew,” she says. “I knew how to weave with a waist loom, so I could make special fabrics and sell them to the tourists, who appreciate handicraft pieces. I also knew how to use thread to make bracelets, and those pieces are easy to sell.”

When she talks about her future plans, Claudia says, “I dream to have a place of my own, where I can sell my products and others can come and do business with me. I know I have to work hard and look at innovative ways to market my products. None of this would happen without sponsorship!”