Panajachel, Guatemala – Friday, September 26th proved to be an exciting day for our Guatemalan staff and partner artisans from our cooperative in Churacruz. As Mercado Global staff members received business training, artisans prepared to receive their sewing machines as part of our renewed partnership with the Government of Guatemala and the World Bank.

Prior to the signing ceremony, Guatemalan staff members underwent leadership training made possible through a partnership with the Government of Guatemalan. Focused on the importance of innovation, creativity in business, and the capacity to make calculated risks and adapt to change, this interactive training allowed us to apply the discussion towards our expansion campaigns as Mercado Global continues to expand our network and scale our outreach in Guatemala. As Barbara Quieju, Business Skills & Asset Development Program Coordinator, commented, the training was valuable beyond business purposes, specifically because it can “be applied to many aspects of their lives in order to make effective decisions and achieve great successes in life.”

 Staff members enjoy tamales and Pepian – comida tipico de Guatemala — at the Mercado Global offices.

Joined by artisans from our cooperative in Churacruz, together the entire Mercado Global staff enjoyed a beautiful meal in celebration of completing their sewing training. Seven of our partner artisans who have been undergoing training to use industrial sewing machines graduated from the program, which was made possible through our partnership with Semilla Capital, a program funded by the World Bank and the Government of Guatemala.

In addition to building their skills, the artisans received their own sewing machines as part of our revolving loan program. Most importantly, this will allow them to begin working on Mercado Global orders immediately and thus, generate a steady income. Through this second partnership with Semilla Capital, Mercado Global has been able to continue to create these invaluable opportunities for our artisans.

 Maria Mendoza signs her contract with Mercado Global, receiving her sewing machine.

Maria Mendoza, mother of two teenage daughters and recent graduate of the program expressed that her favorite part of the training was learning new and unique designs. These newly learned abilities on an industrial sewing machines allow her to work more efficiently and with greater precision than with traditional domestic machines.

Whether it is providing business and leadership training for professional staff members or programs for artisans to build their skills and income, we are humbled and excited by the opportunities that our partnerships are creating. As a community, when one of us grow, we all grow and now more than ever we look forward to the future with renewed energy.

 Newly graduated partner artisans from Churacruz celebrate with Mercado Global staff