As we kick off our #WomenForward campaign, we would like to introduce you to Lilian Xinico, our Textile Coordinator at Mercado Global. Lilian brings passion and energy to the team and helps move #WomenForward in our partner communities.

Growing up in the rural Guatemalan highlands, Lilian was motivated and hardworking from an early age. She helped her father, a farmer, in the fields before and after school and sold popcorn in her free time. Years later, her strong work ethic helped her secure a full scholarship to study technical administration and marketing at Kentucky State University. Reflecting on her achievements, she shared, “Work hard and when an opportunity comes, take it and see what happens!”

Six years ago, Lilian started working with Mercado Global. Her desire to help women in her community motivated her to take on the role of Textile Coordinator. Lilian says,“My favorite part of my job is giving orders to our artisans. It makes me happy because it is a great opportunity for them. They use the money they earn for food, education, clothes, and heath care for their families

Under Lilian’s leadership, our partner artisans have improved their skills and product quality, making products in the rural highlands of Guatemala that reach the shelves of Anthropologie and J.Crew. In the community of Girasoles, the women worked with Lilian to improve their embroidery skills, which have become important for recent collections. After receiving a large order, many women were able to save and put it towards buying land, some artisans were even able to build new houses. Successes like this reinforce her commitment to improving the livelihoods of rural Guatemalan women. According to Lilian, “The women are more independent and confident working with Mercado Global. We are growing and I hope we will continue to grow and reach more artisans!”

In addition to her full time job, Lilian owns a store in her village, takes university courses on International Relations and Italian, and oversees a civil society organization of 100 women in her community. Her passion and drive are invigorating and inspire the whole Mercado Global team.

Your support during our #WomenForward campaign will help Lilian continue to be a positive agent of change in our partner artisan communities.

Click here to find out more about the campaign.