For the past year, five youth from the Getsemaní Community have been developing their own micro-business initiative. The so-called “Jewelry Group” makes handmade jewelry from beads and natural items, including coffee beans, seeds, and stones. They sell and promote the jewelry themselves, which has been quite popular with the international volunteers.
The Jewelry Group has received support from INSAFOCOOP (Salvadoran Institute for Promoting Cooperatives) in the form of various technical and business trainings. For example, they have learned how to make a budget as well as balance income and expenses. Most recently, the jewelers participated in workshops focused on improving product design, based on competition and fashion trends.
“It was hard work in the beginning,” said 20-year-old José Sanchez, president of the Jewelry Group. “Now, we are amazed at what we have accomplished.” Among their accomplishments, they have even fulfilled three orders from the United States!
The business has slowly grown since the initial meetings over a year ago. In the last few months, the Jewelry Group voted to expand and take on five new members! With the newly-expanded group of ten, the Jewelry Group hopes to increase the amount of product created and sold in the future, and they are looking for new venues where they can sell their products.