Meet Fidelia

Meet Fidelia

Meet Fidelia

Friendship Bridge client since 2014; part of Handmade by Friendship Bridge® since 2016

Fidelia is from Santa Lucía Utatlán, Sololá. Part of the Maya K'iche ethnic group, Fidelia’s father, a day laborer, believed it was important that only the boys in the family attend school. Even so, Fidelia enrolled on her own and studied through third grade. She has memories of her father, an alcoholic, mistreating the family. Fidelia and her siblings regularly collected firewood in the mountains, hauled water from a nearby river, and took care of rabbits as chores.

The Artisan’s History
After she married, Fidelia worked in a garment factory while her husband traveled to find work in the U.S., leaving her alone to raise their two children. In 2004, she started her own business of reselling casual clothes, and her talent for tailoring was recognized. She earned enough to help both her children get through high school. 

The Friendship Bridge Impact
Fidelia joined Friendship Bridge in order to expand her clothing business and finish building her workshop. Through trainings, Fidelia developed unique clothing designs with traditional details,  learned about measurements for the international market, and created new samples. She has invested her loans in raw materials, tools, and spare parts for her business. She now owns five sewing machines and employs several people who also have families to provide for. She is thankful for the moral support from Friendship Bridge during hard times, and has grown to value herself more.

Fidelia continues to support herself and desires to help with local development, such as improving the drinking water in her community.

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.