Yuri’s Bakery

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By ChildFund Guatemala
Posted on 3/21/2017
Yuri from Guatemala

Yuri, 23, learned how to bake through ChildFund's My Chance project in Guatemala and now she sells her homemade bread to make extra money.

Yuri, age 23, lives with her grandmother almost 15 miles from the nearest town in Guatemala. After dropping out of school, Yuri was recently able to take up her studies again, and she is now in her third year of high school. Every Saturday, she rides the bus an hour each way to the main town for class.

Like Yuri, many young women and girls in Guatemala have their schooling interrupted or are unable to complete their education beyond sixth grade. The reasons behind this are complex and varied: many families have limited resources and are unable to pay for school uniforms, supplies and transportation; some families need their child to work to help provide income; there are limited schools and infrastructure in rural areas; poor nutrition, sanitation and overall health often result in low school attendance; and oftentimes cultural beliefs, values and practices in the country do not find merit in educating girls.

But some young women are finding second chances. Yuri, who has been involved with ChildFund’s programs since 1997, started participating in the My Chance project in April 2015. Through this project, she and many other young people learned about life planning skills, technical skills, entrepreneurship and how to create a business.

One of the skills Yuri learned through the My Chance project was baking. When she started out, she was selling bread door to door — but these days, people come to her asking for it. “People look for my bread because a secret ingredient makes it special,” she says. “They even come from different places to buy it, and it makes me proud.”

Yuri’s baking business has given her the opportunity to continue helping at home while generating some additional revenue. She makes about 400 to 500 pieces of bread every week and earns about $125 per month. This money helps her buy any new equipment she needs as well as pay for her food and other expenses.

She has even taught her grandma and two cousins to bake as well. “My Chance project has helped me to generate new income and to get closer to my family, sharing while working,” she says. As Yuri continues her education, she is growing her skills, both in baking and in business, and she is always looking for ways to improve her recipe. All that attention to detail will come in handy when she tackles her next goal in life: to become an accountant.