People Helping People Global is a community comprised of dozens of passionate, independent, entrepreneurial individuals both in North and Central America. As a community we have the opportunity and privilege to help ourselves and in turn, each other, the community and the world. Please take a moment to be inspired by reading the stories of a just few of the people in our community.
Damaris started selling shoes after finishing her Agronomy degree. Even though she had an education, being pregnant kept her from working, as not many people are willing to hire pregnant women. She first began selling clothes, but sustained significant losses, and decided it was not profitable. She saw an opportunity when her sister-in-law convinced her to visit Masaya; she considered selling the sandals that she found in the market. Damaris started with a 2000C$ loan, and invested in the cheapest pair of sandals, buying 33 pairs.
A smart business woman, she was eventually able to form relationships directly with the workshops that make the shoes, cutting out the middleman and increasing her profits. Damaris, now sells multiple styles of shoe and has a loyal customer base.
What’s the hardest part of getting started? According to Damaris, it’s getting started and getting customers. But as she soon told us, once she established a clientele it became much easier.
Gloria, is the matriarch of her medley family. For most of her life she’s been a single mom of 3 of her own children and the 3 more she adopted, left to support them on her own. In order to feed her family, she ventured into the world of self-employment. She been a cook, a seamstress, a farmer, but her most important role is being a Mother. After her own children were grown and married, she found 3 little girls on her doorstep, abandoned by their parents. Gloria took these three girls in, adopted them as her own, and is currently working to send them to school.
Gloria has always been a self-starter. Having to be self-reliant for most of her life, she feels lucky with the success that she has had in her life. Whatever she makes, she sells. Her compassion and hard work ethic is something she has instilled in her children, as she encourages them to continue to study, hoping she can buy them the materials they need to complete their education. After we finished with the interview, Gloria sent us home with a bag full of mangoes and bananas out of her backyard.
Gloria hopes that eventually she’ll be able to save for her retirement, so that she can support herself when she can’t work, forever being the autonomous, self-sufficient matriarch she has always been.
In order to pay for her transportation to and from her university, Iriz began her own business selling Avon and clothes. She was well placed to do this, as she could sell to her classmates and grow her business through word-of-mouth at her school. However, this was not Iriz’ first time being self-employed. Since the age of 14 she had been helping her Aunt sell clothing. She would sell to her classmates and split the profits with her Aunt. After her son was born, she needed money to support him and to make sure she finished university. Iriz enrolled in school to study accounting, and since then has used her education to keep her own accounting books for her business. Iriz just graduated from university this year. She wants a good life for her son, and hopes to find a salaried job in addition to her own business to help provide that for him.