Rosa Graciela Yac Gómez is a gifted seamstress from Pachaj, Quetzaltenango, where there remains a rich tradition of producing bright, floral-patterned huipiles. Rosa learned how to sew and embroider traditional Guatemalan blouses from her mother who was also a seamstress from Xela. She started her journey with one haphazard sewing machine that was passed down to her, and a dream to one day export her products.
Rosa was only able to complete the 6th grade when she had to leave her education behind in order to start producing a steady income for her family. Later, when Rosa married and had two children, she still found herself struggling to make ends meet, even with the financial support of a husband. That is when she decided it was time to find financial help for her business in order to take care of her family. She found the aid that she was looking for in Friendship Bridge in 2010, when she joined the artisan team. Her first loan was Q2,000.00, which over the last 8 years has risen to Q8,000.00.
Rosa now owns five sewing machines in her workshop where she designs and develops beautiful huipiles, bags, aprons, and coin-purses to sell at local markets in Xela. She is also now a member on the Board of Directors at her Trust Bank. As a long-standing artisan and vendor, Rosa has capitalized on the demand for particularly popular products such as aprons and huipiles. After 8 cycles of intensive product development training at Friendship Bridge, and continuously learning how to perfect her craft, she will soon be exporting hair scrunchies to wholesalers. She is incredibly grateful to Friendship Bridge for giving her the opportunity to do what she loves and simultaneously support her family.