The Wakami System

In wakami we inspire the people who use our products and transform the lives of the ones that produce them.

We are conformed by two organisations that work hand in hand: a foundation that gives professional training to rural groups of women and a social business that designs and exports Wakami handmade products made by these women for the global market.

Results and Impact

Stories to share

ALEJANDRA

My name is Alejandra, I’m an entrepreneur, I’m 38 years old and I’m the leader of “Artesanías Candelaria”. When I was young, I lived in a farm with my family, it was very happy because there was freedom to play, run and go to the river with my eight brothers. My dad never let us work in the fields, we could only help my mom in the house. That, however, made it difficult for me  to continue studying. That’s why, when I was 14, I went with my sisters to look for work in the city. I spent more than 10 years in the city.

As a child I didn’t know that dreams existed, they didn’t teach me to overcome myself and set me goals. I didn’t dream of having a better life. I learned to dream until I started working with wakami. Although I don’t have a study, my work has given me the opportunity for my daughter to graduate. My daughter is 18 years old, she studies Mathematics at the university on weekends, and on weekdays she teaches math and computers at a school. 

The women of “Artesanías Candelaria” hope to move forward and create a change in the communities and even Guatemala. We want to show that in the communities you can create a change. Someday our dreams will come true. Most of us have carry on for our children.

There are opportunities but you have to look for them, take them and work on them. What we need are opportunities and know how to take advantage of them.

ANNIE

My name is Annie, I am 34 years old and work in “Producciones Kastajem” in Magdalena Milpas Altas. I had never been able to go to work because I have two children who suffer from kidney failure and I have to take care of them. However, 10 years ago wakami gave me work when no one else wanted to do it. 

The work that wakami has given us has been a blessing in our lives. 

 

 JUANA 

My name is Juana, I am 36 years old and I work in “Producciones Victoria”. When I was just two years old, my parents fled from the community to the mountains because of the war. I dreamed of studying but I only went to school one year because my mother didn’t believe that girls had the right to study. Despite that, I learned to write with coal on wood. We returned to the community when I was 15 years old, I got married and a year later I had my first baby. I decided to study elementary school at 18, then I continued studying high school while teaching other women to read.

Before working with wakami I worked in the city as a translator but I left my children in the house and I was not watching them grow.

wakami also has given a scholarship to one of my children. I still dream of graduating as a bachelor, but my dreams have changed since I had my children and I give priority to their education. I want my six children to graduate. Thank God the dream is being fulfilled because my oldest son is already a bachelor. I am happy to have a job with which I can support my family.

MARLA

My name is Marla, I’m 39 years old and I’m the leader of “Producciones Kastajem”. I’ve been working with wakami for 10 years and my life has changed a lot. Before I believed that women were born to be housewives and once we got it, everything was over. When I started training with wakami, I did it secretly to avoid problems with my husband. wakami made me see my value and that of women in society. In my family, they did not believe that women should study. I broke with that paradigm because my daughter today studies in the university.

I used to dream of having a nice house. Now I have it. I have achieved many dreams with wakami and my next dream is to have the second floor of my house finished. The work has given me resources and I have tried to take advantage of 101% so that my children have a better life.

Each time we make a bracelet I want that bracelet to carry positivism and hope, to connect the client with our dreams.

We are more than 500 women, behind us there are a lot of people who depend on our income. I love and I am passionate about my work. I dream of a happy world and that there are more happy families around us. And how is that achieved? Well, generating more jobs for our community.