March 04, 2023

Introducing Gladis

Introducing Gladis

Mayamam Weavers is a women’s weaving cooperative made up of backstrap weavers, foot loom weavers and seamstresses. Another vital piece of the successful business puzzle is the finance coordinator. Say hello to Gladis, our Finance Coordinator!  Gladis is responsible for analyzing financial and cost information and sharing it within the group, along with paying bills, calculating payroll, and monitoring inventory. She is also a key member of the sales and marketing committee.

Gladis began working with the cooperative part time in 2015. While this isn’t the career path she had planned for herself, she is enjoying the work and finds it to be rewarding. She had originally studied to be a bilingual primary school teacher (Mam and Spanish). She welcomes the opportunity to learn new things. “It has been a huge challenge to be able to do the accounting. Perhaps I am not doing it 100%, but I am trying the best I can.”

Since joining Mayamam Weavers full time, Gladis was trained in savings circles and has regularly implemented it with the women.  A savings circle is a group where everyone agrees to contribute a specific amount of money to the circle. During the year they can take out a loan if necessary at a low interest rate.  They elect a board, and fees are charged for being late or missing meetings.  At the end of the year, the money is returned to everyone, dividing the earnings equally. It’s a great way to save to make a larger purchase or to put away in case of an emergency.

Gladis has two sons that are 8 and 6 years old. They both attended XNQ preschool. And because of that, they are now advanced in the elementary school. They learned the importance of caring for the environment, respect for the elderly, and were taught in both languages (Mam and Spanish). “They have also learned to ask a lot of questions,” says Gladis. “And now I need to learn the answers!”

Gladis recognizes the impact of her work in the cooperative and is proud of it and the work of the other women in the group. “At the same time I have learned to do my job, I have learned from the work done by the weavers, the seamstresses, the person who does the quality control.”