Angélica is an entrepreneur and she is part of Programa Velasco’s Women’s Empowerment Project (WEP) in a rural community called La Javia, Tepecoyo. Angélica’s house is also home base for where all the workshops, meetings, technical assistance, and counseling sessions are held! She is very generous to open her home to the WEP and all the entrepreneurs.
Angélica and her home have always been the lifeblood of the community. For more than 10 years she ran a soup kitchen called Jesus’ Miracle. At the soup kitchen, she and other mothers volunteered their time to cook lunch for children in the community. Many children suffered from malnutrition and the soup kitchen helped to guarantee their families that the children were receiving at least one meal each school day.
Over the last few years the soup kitchen was difficult to sustain. Angélica relied on donations to purchase the ingredients for the lunches and she did not receive a salary for her work and time. Angélica, the other moms, and the community were ready for a new chapter. They wanted to earn their own incomes and transition toward being able to provide economically for their families, especially for their children so they didn’t need to rely on the soup kitchen for a meal.
“I feel like there are many women who can do something but we don’t have the tools to do it. I like the Project because they teach us how to use the tools we have to earn our own income. I believe that women are able to decide how to manage money without anyone telling us how to do it.”
Last year, she applied for and received seed money to jump start her office supply business that she has in her home. With the seed money she purchased a glass display case and a variety of inventory.
In this year’s first personal empowerment workshop, Angélica and her fellow entrepreneurs participated in an activity where they drew how they felt before entering the Project in 2019 and how they feel now. Here is what she shared about the meaning of her drawing:
“I drew a gray cloud because that’s how I felt, but I wanted to do something for myself and make it happen.”
“From the first moment I heard about the Project, I was very excited and had high hopes for myself and for the women in the community. To express how I feel now, I drew hands that pushed the grey cloud away. I am very happy and grateful for the push the Project, the staff, and other entrepreneurs gave me. ”
“ In workshops, I discovered how to empower myself and I like that. It is wonderful to feel that I can decide what to do and not rely on others to do it for me.”
Angélica went on to say:
“I am very proud of the business I started. When they approved the seed money, I felt that I had achieved a lot and I realized that I can fight for what I want and keep it going. It is not easy, but I am trying every day. I am very happy the Project has helped me to be able to speak in public. After I finished speaking and presenting my proposal for seed money, I felt that I was capable of doing anything!”
Angélica’s changes and growth are palpable! We are looking forward to supporting Angélica this year in her journey.
If you would like to support an entrepreneur like Angélica, please consider sponsoring someone’s participation in the WEP. You’ll allow someone to access learning and empowerment opportunities that they otherwise wouldn’t. We appreciate your consideration!