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Jewelry Vendors

The jewelry vendors project was born out of the one tourist’s attraction to great artisanry.  Looking to purchase gifts for family members back home, Director Mike Ross stumbled upon the unique jewelry designs of Rosa Maria Tzina Sosof in the town of Panajachel, Guatemala.  As Ross spoke with Rosa, he saw that her story reflected those of other women in Guatemala – that of struggle to provide and care for a family.


Born in Santiago, Atitlan, Rosa grew up putting herself through high school.  “In 2008, I graduated from high school as a bilingual secretary.  To complete school I had to work early in the morning and in the afternoon,” Rosa notes.  Despite her education, Rosa was unable to find a job with her degree as she explains , “In Guatemala it is very difficult to find a job.  Because of this, I dedicate my abilities to making artesanía (jewelry).


Though Rosa describes herself as hard-working, the conditiions in Guatemala do not afford her much opportunity to adequately provide for her husband and son. “My family is very humble and poor, however, we live happy,” Rosa says.  “I make an effort to support them by selling my merchandise.”


Through the adversity and struggle, Rosa continues to strive for more.  “I feel fullfillment in accomplishing my goals and dreams.  I have a son whom I love dearly. In the future, I want to give my son a better education than I had and allow him to study English in school.


In 2010 Rosa and her family members – Maria Vásquez, Isabel Tziná, and Nicolasa Tziná – received their first grant from MGV.  The financial and networking support provided by the organization has allowed the jewelry vendors to make more of their products to sell both locally and extend their market to small shops in Colorado.  The increase in income provided by this opportunity allows these women to provide necessities and opportunities for their families that they never had.


                    Rosa                                              Maria                                            Isabel                                     Nicolasa