Guatemalan women work together in poultry venture
Unbound has long encouraged creative livelihood initiatives for families in our programs. Five enterprising women from Guatemala have taken that encouragement to heart in starting their own poultry business.
Maria, Concepcion C., Jesus, Rosa and Concepcion T. are all moms in the same community. They each have children who are sponsored through the Unbound program, and it’s through this connection that they met.
“The staff has always encouraged us [parents] to start our own business,” Jesus said. “We thought this is something we like, we talked and we just said, ‘Let’s do it.’ We are happy that all five of us are doing this business; it’s a great benefit for all of us.”
The women started their group business with a tree nursery, which did very well. In a few months they had enough capital to begin a new business raising chompipollos, which are large chickens.
According to Jesus, chompipollos grow fast and the meat tastes better than the traditional varieties of chicken.
“We only grow them [chicks] for eight days and then we sell them live,” she said. “I like chompipollos more than I do chicken. But really, we started thanks to the staff who invited us to start.
“All the time, since we started, they have trained us and they still do. …”
The mothers know that, in the staff, they have a resource for any additional help in raising the chompipollos, should they need it.
“We can do great things, our group business can grow, and we believe we can be successful businesswomen.”
Jesus and the mothers take care of the chicks by keeping them warm, making sure they’re fed and watered, and giving them vitamins and medicine as needed.
But the first step in caring for the chicks was building an enclosure.
Jesus connects deconstructed cardboard boxes in a ring to form the enclosure.
Then, the moms work together to spread the bedding around the enclosure to keep the chicks warm, and their messes to a minimum.
And, of course, food and water containers are added in preparation for the chicks’ arrival.
Finally, the chompipollo chicks are introduced to their home for the next eight days.
And the task of taking care of them begins.
Jesus shared that their biggest challenge now is finding more customers, but they are already doing well and making a profit from their new business venture. The mothers are using the profits to pay for their children’s educations and cover expenses at home.
“Don't expect to have a better future without taking actions and risks.“ — Jesus in Guatemala Click To Tweet
But Jesus doesn’t want to stop there.
“We can do great things, our group business can grow, and we believe we can be successful businesswomen,” she said. “I dream of having a big farm with thousands of chompipollos.”
Jesus has advice for aspiring businesswomen.
“Don’t be afraid to try new things,” she said. “We have to be brave because the well-being of our family depends on it. Don’t expect to have a better future without taking actions and risks.”