Participants this year have specifically asked for her to bring in lunches during this year’s workshops!
Unfortunately, one external factor that sometimes limits the women in the program– despite their talent and commitment– is finding a space where they can sell their products. Programa Velasco supported Ana Cristina in purchasing a plancha, or a long, flat grill Salvadorans use to make pupusas and other products. At the time, she was unable to find a space where she could set up shop and sell her food. Instead, she sold a variety of products on the streets using a cart which, due to her multiple health problems and the often dangerous environment in the neighborhood, was less than ideal. Nevertheless, she persisted.
A few months ago, Ana Cristina called our staff in El Salvador to let them know she had accomplished a dream– she had finally found a fixed spot from which she could set up her plancha and sell her delicious food. She overcame significant personal challenges and was able to move out of her previous living situation into a shared space with another family member at a strategic location with a sidewalk where they have set up their business.
She proudly treated staff to pupusas, showed off her business cards, and chatted about future plans to expand and improve the current space. Ana Cristina is a reminder that sometimes the payoff for all the hard work our participants put in is not immediate. It can take years for all the personal growth and new knowledge to come together in the right moment and create the conditions for success. We are so proud of Ana Cristina’s persistence and for being a part of her dreams coming true!