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"Ever since I was a child I've admired the rich cultural and artistic legacy of my country. I love the ease with which weavers combine colors and master techniques."
"Born in Guatemala City on August 29, 1981, I'd say I'm a fun person, an entrepreneur and a patriot. One of the things I love to do is look for opportunities of growth for the people around me. I enjoy finding ways of creating new jobs because this is a one of the major problems in Guatemala at the moment.
"People who know me consider me a good friend, and that makes me feel very proud. I always try to exalt Guatemala in everything I do, even during the time when I was living abroad. My intention has always been to highlight my cultural roots so that people may see how wonderful Guatemala is, and the riches it has to offer.
"One of the greatest experiences that have had an impact on me was when I decided to leave my parents' house to become independent and find meaning in my life. My life changed dramatically, as I had to start from zero. It was a great challenge, but now, looking back, I can see how I grew personally, and I came to appreciate the true value of what life has to offer.
"One of my fondest memories, and it always brings a smile to my face, is when I started sketching my first handbag designs. They were all lopsided and with the wrong dimensions! It became a great challenge for me when I decided to get involved in a workshop that specialized in sewing leather and textile handbags – I had never done this before, but my entrepreneur nature brought me here and I wanted to continue on this path. I had much to learn, about the materials and about the tools needed for specific tasks. Now it's all become clear for me, I know what I can create and I know which tools does what.
"I really appreciate my time as an apprentice. I started with an Italian master who taught me everything, from the basics to the value of never stopping in my quest for superior quality. To me, quality is non-negotiable.
"In some way I like to think of myself as an eternal apprentice because I always learn something new at the workshop. Now I currently train other apprentices. They have some experience working with leather because they used to be shoemakers, and now we're focusing on perfecting the finish of each bag at the highest level of quality possible.
"My biggest dream is to make my workshop grow while preserving the quality we're known for, and the type of humanness and the relationships that are possible when you're at a small workshop. I don't want to have a great big factory, but I do want to be able to be in a position where I can offer jobs and support the development of the people that work with me.
"Another of my dreams is to creative a type of artisan cooperative or association where I can train people in different techniques, the use of different materials, and the creation of new designs. In that way more people would have access to a dignified work and express their creativity through textiles.
"I would love to give back to my country from all that it has given me, and one of the greatest lessons my parents taught me is that one must project unto others the blessings one has received. One of the greatest challenges in Guatemala is education, and I hope to be able to contribute to this in the near future.
"Creating is one of the things I enjoy the most – it never ends! There is always something new to create and discover. I love exploiting creativity to the max and give free reign to the imagination to create things no one has seen before.
"Ever since I was a child I've admired the rich cultural and artistic legacy of my country. I love the ease with which weavers combine colors and master techniques. Guatemala is a small country and yet we have one of the greatest cultural diversities in the world, which is reflected in the different artistic things we create. And as much as this inspires me, I also take from daily things, such as the chaotic rhythm of the city, our landscapes, and the different communities.
"When I'm looking for artisans to join my workshop, I try to find people that are very responsible, that are strict with their own work and can commit to high quality. I look for people who are aware that through their work, they are elevating the name of Guatemala. I love finding people open to learning new things and want to enjoy the adventure of discovering new things with me.
"It makes me proud to know that in my workshop we create opportunities for work and for education. Our mission is to preserve Guatemala textile arts, which we embellish by combining them with leather. We also offer work to people beyond our workshop. I'm talking of weavers who provide us with the fabrics we use in our designs. They are independent artisans, but by providing us their fabrics at a fair price they ensure they have constant clients who they can count on to provide for their families."
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