Meet Erika

Meet Erika

Meet Erika

Friendship Bridge client since 2016; part of Handmade by Friendship Bridge® since 2017

Erika lives in the municipality of Cantel, located within the department of Quetzaltenango in the Guatemalan highlands, where most residents make a living in agriculture. The only girl among five brothers, Erika’s parents sacrificed so that all their children could receive a high school education. After finishing high school, Erika took a year off to consider college, but a surprise pregnancy changed her plans. Instead she got married at 20 to a shoemaker, then suffered the tragic loss of her first child. 

The Artisan’s History
Erika's father worked as a tailor, making shirts, pants, and jackets. Her mother, in addition to being a housewife, made aprons, huipiles, and other sewn items. When she wasn’t in school, Erika learned a lot about tailoring and entrepreneurship, and supported them in their business in any way she could. After she married, Erika and her husband combined their skills to start their own textile business.

The Friendship Bridge Impact
Erika decided to get involved with Friendship Bridge when she and her husband received an order for shoes which they could not fill, as they did not have sufficient funds for raw materials. Just a few months after Erika received her first loan, she joined Handmade by Friendship Bridge® at the same time as her mother-in-law, Micaela. Training sessions offered through Handmade have helped Erika to better gauge the true value of her work and put a fair price on her products. Now a mother of four, she has been able to build a better life for herself, and is motivated to implement new skills she’s learned through training sessions.

Erika hopes to have her own home and continually grow her business. She hopes her children will grow up to have professional careers.

    Will you donate to support our artisans?

    When you donate by July 31, your donation will be matched by a generous $3k distribution from the Marilyn Lone Endowment for Artisans.