19 year-old Cecilia Everilda was born and raised in partner community San Jorge la Laguna, a small village above Panajachel where Mercado Global is headquartered. Married at 16, she gave birth to her first child, Juan David, at 17 years old.

Forced to drop out of school in sixth grade to support her family due to her father’s alcoholism, Cecilia has been working since she was 12 years old.

Now working with Mercado Global, not only is she able to make more than what she was paid before, she has also achieved her dream of owning an industrial sewing machine through our microloan program.

As she hones her sewing skills and participates in orders for retailers such as Comptoir des Cotonniers, she has become more active in family financial decision-making and is building her skill set, opening up work opportunities outside of Mercado Global.

While her husband has secured steady work at a local hotel, her additional income eases the stress of monthly bills and has boosted her confidence, both professionally and personally. Because she was never able to complete school, trainings on preventive measures regarding women’s health issues and information on nutritious food are extremely helpful to Cecilia as she cares for her son.

Cecilia has learned how to incorporate more nutritious food and make balanced meals for her son, and is now aware of how to address important health concerns. This plays into her greatest aspiration – to continue learning, working, and succeeding for her son.

Says Cecilia, “I want him to understand the importance of education, live free from the risks of poverty, and fight for a future he is proud of.”

This Season of Hope, you can give the gift of opportunity to more women like Cecilia across Guatemala. 

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