Friendship Bridge client since 2020; part of Handmade by Friendship Bridge® since 2018

Petrona, a mother of six, is from the rural community Santa Lucia Utatlán. She lost her father at a young age and was unable to attend school. Her mother remarried, which added five step siblings for Petrona and her sister, along with a stepfather who decided he would no longer care for Petrona and sister as they grew older.

The Artisan’s History
Petrona learned hand embroidery from friends in her community during her childhood. She put this skill to use in her early teen years to help support herself and her younger sister. From another woman in her community, she learned weaving and machine sewing, which allowed her to expand her skills. She married a tailor at 16 and decided to start an embroidery business.

The Friendship Bridge Impact
With her first loan from Friendship Bridge, Petrona was able to purchase large quantities of thread, fabric, and needles for her business. Through Handmade by Friendship Bridge® training, she’s learned about budgeting, customer service, and investment plans. She has a greater understanding about standard measurements for the international market as well as seasonal colors.  “[The program] strengthens me and my products,” Petrona says. Today she produces a range of products including traditional vests, caps, and yoga mat holders.

Petrona wants to continue learning about business, take better care of her health, and support her children to have their own businesses.