Ericka: Finding a vocation
“A vocation can be found at any point in your life,” Ericka says, her face breaking out into a smile. Becoming pregnant at age 15 caused Ericka to face hard realities at a young age. Three children later, her children’s father was not supportive, so as the only caregiver she was forced to do whatever work she could find to support her family. But six years ago, Ericka was given the opportunity to participate in a painting workshop, and she knew she had found her vocation.
Ericka had a knack for painting and decided she would open a business painting fabrics that would be turned into kitchen towels. However, the paints were expensive and there was no way Ericka could afford the paint and other costs associated with starting her business. She heard about Friendship Bridge and decided it was the best place for her to get a loan, in addition to education and trainings where she could learn more about how to expand her business.
The painting business has grown through Ericka’s nine loan cycles with Friendship Bridge, and especially thrives during holidays like Holy Week, Mother’s Day, and Christmas. Pride radiates from Ericka when she talks about providing for her children, two of whom are currently studying at university. “It is so important to support women. Friendship Bridge has given me the tools to work wonders in my life.”
Ericka is part of the Trust Bank Generación de Cambio, or Generation of Change. The seven women in this Trust Bank have developed clear visions of better futures through their own personal development, expanding their businesses, and sending their children to school. Ericka says, “There are women [in Guatemala] who need a helping hand to move forward.”
About the area
Ericka lives in the department of Quetzaltenango, known as Xela to locals. Xela is the second largest city in Guatemala, and an important cultural center that has six universities, numerous technical and language schools, theaters, and museums.
Thanks to Photolease for their support of clients like Ericka!