In 2014, I was approached by two young street vendors in Panajachel. With kind eyes and a soft demeanor, they asked me to browse their goods. I kindly declined and they explained that their mom had more handmade items at their house and invited me over. So, a few days later, I ventured in the back of a pickup truck, 25 minutes up the mountain to Santa Catarina Palopó. Francisca and Salvador met me in the town square and walked me through the back allies of the village to their house. I was greeted by their mother Teresa, her husband Andres and her 6 other children [8 in total]
I spent the day learning about the family, appreciating Teresa's craftsmanship and discussing options for the future. At that time, I was not sure exactly what the future held but I knew I was going to do my part to try and share her beautiful story with the world and help provide her with a steady income.
I added Teresa’s gorgeous handmade stationary to Hiptipico’s website to try and get her some more sales. But eventually redesigned our packaging so that every single Hiptipico order is decorated with a handmade greeting card crafted by Teresa. Meaning, she will always have consistent sales each month and her children no longer have to sell greeting cards in the street!
Teresa's kindness and determination to meet new clients led her to become one of the main home visits during our sourcing trips! She enjoys teaching weaving and showing the entire process from thread, to loom, to product with textile enthusiasts. Our visitors always mention Teresa as their favorite part of the Hiptipico sourcing trip!
Fast forward to 2018 - Teresa's eldest daughter Lisa is now a full-time employee at Hiptipico! My long-term goal with Hiptipico is to become obsolete. Empowering the next generation to take on my role, learning photography, website design, building relationships, and hosting sourcing trips on their own. Lisa is the future of Guatemala and I feel a deep privilege for having her be a part of our team and am certain she will be an innovative leader in her community!
Swipe left to see images since 2014 and click the link in my bio to learn more about Teresa!
@ericalatack | www.hiptipico.com