Friendship Bridge client since 2015; part of Handmade by Friendship Bridge® since 2015

Jacinta’s parents worked in agriculture; she was fortunate to complete high school and earn a diploma in accounting. As an adult, she and her husband moved to Guatemala City to make a living but didn’t stay. The cost of living increased significantly while they lived there, and Jacinta, as an Indigenous woman, was often discriminated against. At age 29, in the 1980s, Jacinta had to flee her hometown of Tecpán due to the civil war in Guatemala. 

The Artisan’s History

Jacinta moved to Chimaltenango where she and her husband started a textile business. The first products they made were bags and purses; they now create a range of handwoven products as well as items designed with repurposed traditional Guatemalan textiles (luggage tags, cosmetic bags, backpacks, and more). Thanks to her background in accounting, Jacinta took care of the business side, and demand for their products increased. 

The Friendship Bridge Impact

Jacinta has been able to support the education of her five children and has improved her living conditions. Thanks to Handmade by Friendship Bridge®, Jacinta now understands the process of exporting artisan products, including labeling, packaging, and proper paperwork for shipments. In 2020, Jacinta won second place in the prestigious Citi Bank Awards for Entrepreneurs in Microcredit. With the award money, she purchased a leather cutting machine, an industrial iron, and additional sewing machines. In 2023, she won 2nd place in the Exemplary Client category of the Women’s Entrepreneurs Awards, an award meant for clients who overcome challenges. She employs many people in her community as well as several of her adult children.

Jacinta is committed to helping her youngest daughter finish university. She also plans to remodel her workshop and upgrade her sewing machines.