Once upon a time in the spring of 2012, our family of 8 set out for a new life. We had lived most of our years in Reno/Sparks, NV, then in UT for about 5 years. We had met a family through their blog, the Dennings, who were a traveling family. They were heading for South America, driving through UT on their way. We met up in UT, became fast friends, and decided to visit them in Guatemala a few months later. We loved Guatemala, and had the opportunity to install several fuel-efficient stoves during the 3 months we were there. Upon returning to the States, we soon realized that we missed Guatemala a lot! Our oldest son, Calvin, decided that he wanted to do his Eagle Scout Project there. He earned enough money for 15 stoves, so we returned December 2012 to do his project, which was a great success!
A while back, my friend Gabriella made two beautiful necklaces for my daughter and I. These were special macramé necklaces, with stones from Central America and Mexico. We had chosen the stones ourselves, and Gabriella had made beautifully customized necklaces for us. About a month later, these necklaces were in a bag that got stolen! My daughter and I were so sad that our beautiful jewelry was gone! Several months later, I asked Gabriella to teach me how to make these necklaces and bracelets, because I wanted to empower myself to create what had been lost. We met up in Guatemala a few times, and did some learning sessions over Skype as well. Once our work became pretty good, I started to think about selling this jewelry.
Then one beautiful morning on a bike ride, over-looking Lake Atitlan and the magnificent volcanoes, a thought hit me that was so inspiring and “right”, that I didn’t even notice how difficult the steady incline of my ride was! The thought came to me: “what if I taught women in Guatemala who are really struggling in extreme poverty, how to make this macramé jewelry, and then I can sell it for them in the States, and give them the profit?!” This idea kept coming back to me, and each time I thought of it, I felt an excitement that almost made me giddy! So, several months later, I put my plan into action, and invited my friends Candelaria, Nancy, and Gaby to learn. They were excited to learn this new skill. They completed several bracelets each, just in time for my business trip to FL (I teach doTERRA essential oils classes, educating people about natural healing). I brought their bracelets with me, and within 12 hours, I had sold them all on Facebook! When I returned to Guatemala, I gave the women their earnings, and they were so excited and grateful! I decided to open up this opportunity to more women, and as of Oct. 2013, we have 20 people (women/daughters/2 sons) making jewelry around my kitchen table and in their own homes.
I love helping others, because it brings so much satisfaction and REAL happiness! I remember distinctly as a child, a “vision” I had. It was just a picture that popped into my head one day, but it has stuck with me for my entire life. The image is of an African American woman, with a baby in her arms, and they are thin and starving. I am standing across from her, holding a huge basket full of food. I used to watch a lot of those shows when I was little, about the people and children starving in Africa, so I think that’s where that image came from. I just wanted to fly across the world and help them all! And now as an adult, I have the opportunity to make a difference in the little corner of the world we are in.
I love that my whole family can participate in this! As a mother, there is no greater thing I can teach my children than to love, serve, and help others. My husband and each of my children are involved in this project, and I love the happiness we all feel as we work in the trenches together, helping the people in Guatemala.
I truly believe that out of all trials, come great blessings. We just have to look for them. I feel that the incident in Mexico brought to pass a wonderful thing! If our necklaces hadn’t been stolen, I don’t think I would have had a reason, or the motivation to learn how to make the jewelry myself. And if I hadn’t learned how to make the jewelry, I wouldn’t have had the idea to teach others how to do this. Now, single moms and struggling families have the extra income they need to help put food on their tables, improve their living situations, and have better opportunities in their lives.
Thank you for your support in our project!!