August 01, 2017

Introducing Sandra

Introducing Sandra


This month we’d like to introduce you to Sandra, a seamstress in the cooperative, in her own words. As a single mother of 6 children, she is grateful for the skills she has learned with Mayamam Weavers as well as how her children have been able to go to school. She is also thankful for the tutoring program Grupo Cajolá offers so that her children get extra help that they need for school.



My name is Sandra López Lucas. I have 6 children; I am a widow and a single mother. My oldest daughter is 21 years old but she doesn’t live in our house, she already has her own family. My daughter Brenda is 15 years old, Wilson is 12, Keysi is 10, Yenner is 6 years old and Emerson is 4. My life before I started to work with this group was very different. I worked at home, cut wood and brought it down from the communal lands.  I did housework and cooked, worked in the fields harvesting and husking corn, and plowed the land. One day I heard that there was a group of women that had a project to buy sinks to wash clothing, and I enrolled. After we got our sinks, they told us there would be another project, to learn how to sew on a sewing machine. None of us knew how to sew on the sewing machine. Caryn and Eduardo brought a sewing teacher who taught our group to sew. It took us two years to learn how to sew well. That is how I learned to sew, but it was very slow! Then, they brought industrial machines that are faster. Now I can say that I am an experienced seamstress, although we always have new things to learn.



In my case, since I started to work here, it has helped me to be able to pay for my children’s’ education, buy their uniforms and their school supplies as well as their food. I still do the same work at home, but now I bring home a salary too.

I am also taking classes at work to be able to earn my primary school certificate. Before I entered the group I didn’t even know how to write my name. My friends had to write my lists and other things but now I am proud to say that I can write on my own.


I enjoy learning to sew new things based on the type of orders that we get.  Before, everything was difficult for me. I didn’t know much Spanish, but now I am learning words that I thought were too difficult for me. Over the past several years, I have learned a little of everything -- how to sew, to read, to write, and how to speak Spanish. I am grateful to Grupo Cajolá because on Sundays my children get to go to a class to improve their reading and Mondays through Fridays they go to tutoring classes to help them with their homework. My goal is that they learn to read and write well. That makes me very happy and my children are happy because they have the help that they need. I would like it if one day they could become doctors, teachers or another professional to have a better life.