5-9-14  |  Success Story

Maria’s Story: Economic Opportunity with the Nica HOPE Cooperative

BY: Anina Hewey

Maria shows off one of her favorite items, a beaded bracelet, at the Nica HOPE Cooperative

As one of the first community members to attend jewelry making classes, Maria remembers when the Nica HOPE project was established in 2008 to respond to the needs of Acahualinca and the trash dump community, La Chureca. Over the past six years, Maria and her family have continued attending programs at Fabretto’s education center and today, Maria is one of the most experienced members of the Nica HOPE cooperative, where she earns a steady income working part time.

For Maria, being part of the Fabretto community has given her children opportunities that she never had. At a young age, she was forced to drop out of primary school to work in the dump with her family. At fourteen, she had her first child, and tragically, she lost her own mother five years later.

Although she’s faced incredible challenges in her lifetime, Maria takes pride in her accomplishments, and especially in her children’s success. Her oldest daughter, age twenty, is in her fourth year studying accounting at a local university. All five of her children have benefitted from Fabretto’s enrichment classes, school meals, and vocational classes. Maria has also pursued additional economic opportunities; the skills she’s acquired at Nica HOPE have enabled her to join a second jewelry project focused on recycled designs. “I guess you could say I’m a professional now,” she said with a smile.

“I came to the Nica HOPE project to learn,” she said. “Fabretto’s classes have helped my children succeed too. All of us have overcome so much, and we’re still learning.”

Maria working on an order of spiral earrings

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