Sep 2 2015

A family that reaps what they ‘sew’

Rosa, Axel and Johan display their sewing machine and some of their creations.

Rosa, Axel and Johan display their sewing machine and some of their creations.

Families in the Unbound sponsorship program often inspire us with their enterprising nature. They prove, time and again, how small investments in human potential can help make big dreams come true.

Rosa and Ricardo live in Mexico with their sons, Axel, 12, and Johan, 11. Both boys are sponsored through Unbound. Like most of their neighbors, Rosa and Ricardo struggled to earn a living. The lack of job opportunities in their area created a great burden.

“Things did not look good,” Rosa said. “Our situation was critical.”

Ricardo had leaned the trade of making huaraches (sandals) and taught it to Rosa. Though they had the skill and the desire, they didn’t have the needed equipment. Then Unbound and sponsorship entered their lives.

When Johan and Axel became sponsored through Unbound, Rosa and Ricardo gave themselves permission to dream a bit. They had seen how, through small business loans, Unbound had helped some of their neighbors begin new livelihood initiatives. They wondered if it could happen for them.

“We said to ourselves ‘why not start our huarache business?,'” Rosa said. “So we asked Unbound for help to buy a sewing machine and materials to start. We received a loan and that is how we began.”

Once they acquired the sewing machine, huarache-making became a family affair. Rosa explained how they work together.

“We make them right here at home. We use the sewing machine, we sand soleplates and everything is hand made. My kids and I help my husband; he makes the designs. We go door to door to offer them to mothers in our neighborhood.”

With the money the family earns from selling huaraches, and what they receive from the boys being sponsored, they are now able to get by. Equally important to Rosa is the fact that, through the support of their sponsors, both boys are able to go to school.

“I want to be a good mother for my children,” she said. “I want to be able to provide what they deserve. I want them to go to school because life without education is more difficult.”

Rosa and Ricardo have fulfilled their dream of owning a business, and that has inspired their sons to do some dreaming of their own. Axel wants to be a lawyer when he grows up and Johan wants to become an architect.

These are big ambitions for children in their circumstances, but one would be foolish to bet against this family of dreamers and doers.

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