So it’s been a rough week here in Guatemala and by rough I mean a bit hectic! With all that we have on our plate we really had to start taking advantage of our downtime. So we started the week by going on some house visits. This time we visited Wendy and we learned that she had been given the opportunity to rent out a place for 1,200 quetzales a month ($150) to open up a beauty salon. As soon as she said this I immediately thought it was a great opportunity! $150 dollars to rent out a space for a business is an incredible deal! However, Laura and the people at Potter’s House brought me back down to Earth and explained the many difficulties and risks that Wendy would run if she decided to take the offer. Since Wendy does not have the money to pay the rent of the space each month she would have to get 2 other people to work with in order to split the cost of rent. This is a huge risk because most of the people that we met at Potter’s House haven’t worked with a team. I understand where the insecurities to work with others would come from, since most of the women have been left with 3 or more children by their husbands so, trusting others is something that doesn’t come easy to them. Also, Wendy doesn’t have any experience owning her own business. Although many obstacles have presented themselves in front of Wendy and her dream to own her own business, I still believe that there is a way to overcome all of these and make her dream come true! So, Katie C, Katie F, Tisa, and I started planning on ways that we could help Wendy. We started observing the students in our classes that we noticed were always taking notes and interested in learning. We made it our goal to look for people that Wendy could work with that are determined and willing to take a risk. Auri is a woman who stood out to us from the beginning. So, we asked Carol, who is part of the staff at Potter’s House, to take us to Auri’s house so we could get to know her some more and see if she would be a good candidate to join Wendy. It turns out that Auri has her own small salon in her home with a small mirror, a chair and a hair washing sink. She welcomed us into her home with a big smile and insisted that we sit on her couch while she told us a little bit about herself and her life. Auri’s husband abandoned her 7 years ago when their fourth child was born and she was left to care for all four of them on her own. Because Casa Del Alfarero noticed her determination to get ahead, they built her a small home near the community so, her home is the nicest one we have been to so far. Auri shared with us that she only works from home on weekends and she cleans houses monday- friday. There are many disadvantages of living in the community near the dump, because people barely have any money to eat much less to get a haircut for 15 quetzales so that is why she doesn’t work on her business during the week. However, Auri has progressed more than any other woman we have seen so far and it is evident that her hard work has paid off.
I was very inspired by Auri’s faith in God. I have always believed in God, but I have never consciously reached out to him like people here in Guatemala do. Auri told us that once her children were begging her to buy juice so that they could have some for lunch and Auri, who was short on money, told her children to pray for some clients to come in and cut their hair so that they could have money to buy juice for lunch. So Auri’s four children kneeled down by Auri’s bedside and prayed to God to bless them with some juice for lunch. Soon enough Auri had 5 clients that day and her children were able to have juice with their lunch. Auri laughed as she told the story but I could tell that Auri wholeheartedly puts her life in God’s hands.
After visiting Auri we decided to go take a look at the space that Wendy has been offered. It was a small place and to our surprise it was completely furnished with Beauty Salon supplies. The previous owner is Wendy’s good friend who used to own a barber shop and he’s offering her the space because he started a new business and doesn’t have time to run the barber shop any longer. He was generous enough to offer her the space at a low cost and with all the supplies included. I was a little too excited and I started thinking about how much potential the place had and how we could help decorate it, but once again we Laura reminded me that we still had a lot to discuss.
I know that there are a lot of risks involved, but how often do you get opportunity like this one? I won’t get my hopes up, but I think that we could really help Wendy figure something out.
Until next time,
Notice: Use of undefined constant AKISMET__PLUGIN_URL - assumed 'AKISMET__PLUGIN_URL' in /home3/nourish1/public_html/home/wp-content/plugins/akismet/class.akismet.php on line 845