It’s been a while since we’ve introduced you to one of the artisans. Say hello to Roselia!
Roselia has been a member of the cooperative for more than 10 years, working as a seamstress. Years ago, she worked on a farm planting and picking potatoes. The work was very tedious, starting at 6am every day and leaving her with little energy to do anything in the afternoons. At the time, Roselia saw it as the only way to earn a living. Looking for other work opportunities, she went to school to study to be a primary teacher and continued working on the farm two days a week. She graduated as an intercultural bilingual primary school teacher, excited about her new career choice. Sadly, she had a difficult time finding a paid position. A director of a school suggested she volunteer her time teaching to earn experience with the hope of finding a salaried position one day. Roselia waited as long as she could, but volunteering does not allow you to buy food or a house!
Roselia’s mother began working with Grupo Cajolá back in 2006 as the women were working on a project to purchase sinks to wash clothes. Shortly after, they formed a group of seamstresses and Roselia’s mother suggested she join the group. She didn’t know anything about sewing but she was intrigued and willing to give it a try. After 2 years of training and practicing her new skills, Roselia felt comfortable. Starting with a pedal machine, the cooperative eventually purchased industrial machines and they were able to sew better quality products.
Roselia is happy with her job and pleased that the work is not physically tiring. She says her salary has allowed her to go back to study and earn her degree in education. She also appreciates being part of Grupo Cajolá, the nonprofit community improvement organization that Mayamam Weavers falls under because they awarded her with a scholarship that paid for her final years of study. She then served on the board for 2 years before being elected president. “For me, this other experience was completely new and at first, a little complicated. I had never been a director and I knew nothing about the responsibilities and duties of a person who is director. It gave me the opportunity to know more and understand the vision of our group (Grupo Cajolá).” She enjoyed meeting visitors that came to see the projects in Cajolá and representing Mayamam Weavers and Grupo Cajolá. She gained new skills like learning how to handle and distribute allocated funds.
As for sewing with the machine, it has been a rewarding experience. She appreciates the skills she has developed along the way. Her keen attention to detail ensures that she creates high quality products. Working as part of a group was also new experience that Roselia is grateful for. She treasures the relationships with her coworkers. “Now, my companions form a part of my daily life. With them, I share many pleasant moments because we work together daily.”