– I have an immense dream: I would like to have my own house and my own well implemented business of desserts crafted from the fruit in this region in accordance with what I learned in the workshops of Paz y Esperanza (PyE), says Agueda Pillaca Palomino (25) participant of Project “Entrepreneurial Women” implemented by PyE
Agueda is decided to have her own future.
– When I learn skills in the workshops, I come home and teach them to my husband, and we prepare them together and together want to have a business, she tells.
Decided to be better
– With my children, I would like each day to be better than the last. I want to teach them what has happened in the past here with violence and be better and live differently in the future. That is my goal. That is my greatest dream, she explains with conviction.
Agueda, an incredibly driven woman, not afraid to work hard to achieve her dreams, lives with joy and passion. Born and raised in Rio Blanco in Apurímac, Peru she has actively participated in the workshops of the Project since the first day of their implementation and now serves as an active leader in her community.
This young mother of two children previously studied textile manufacturing, but prefers working with her hands cooking and crafting desserts. She is not afraid to work hard and care for others. A typical morning for her revolves around her children as she rises at 5am to prepare breakfast and send her oldest son off to kindergarten for the morning.
– I am charged with responsibility for my father and two siblings, all who in the past have lived in domestic violence, in addition to my two children, Agueda explains with determination.
With a twinkle in her eye, Agueda recounts what she enjoys from the entrepreneurship workshops,
– What I like is that we learn professional capabilities. I have learned to make cakes out of the fruits that grow in this region. We have learned to bring value to these things. Before, we would collect the good ones, and the small ones would decay. But now we will utilize these fruits; orange, platano, maracuya, cherimoya, lucuma; we have a lot, and we utilize these in the cakes, she makes short pause.
– And it is profitable; we sell the products we make from the fruits. I have been in the workshops for two years and will continue in this because there is more to learn, I want to continue to learn more and more, she states.
The workshops, which are part of the project, benefit XXX in a Ayacucho and Apurimac. They contain components of economic entrepreneurship as well as social skills and community involvement. The social component is especially relevant in this project because of most participants’ background. Like Agueda, who was raised in family patterns of violence and previously lived with an abusive husband.
– Because with them [my parents] we didn’t know what was the true way to treat family. Now thanks to Paz y Esperanza who have conducted workshops and shown us the fight against violence we know the true way for family, she tells.
Supporting each other
She and her new husband have also learned to work together and make financial decisions together in support of each other.
– Previously there was more violence and this is why I separated from my husband. But today with my new husband we aren’t like this. What he earns working, he gives to me and together we decide how to spend this money. And he supports me a lot, when I have an activity I say, ‘Let’s go,’ and he supports me. He will even come with me to the festivals sometimes., she tells with a smile of satisfaction.
Agueda also expresses thanks for the confidence and independence she gains from increasing her professional capabilities as an individual.
– The difference between my life before and today is that now I know I can produce something and I don’t have to depend solely on my husband. I also can generate income for my house and help my family, she explains with a wide smile as we converse in a corner of her kitchen.
Agueda articulates her desires with quiet joyful determination about her family and her dreams.
– I feel happy when I am satisfied in everything with my family. That is where I feel joy because when they are satisfied, I am satisfied. I feel sad when I fail to achieve something, because it makes me think maybe I will have to stay like this my whole life, and then I know I absolutely have to achieve these dreams.
Her vision, her dream
Although she jokes that, “dreaming doesn’t cost anything,” Agueda has a clear vision of what she wants to achieve.
– I want a site with publicity, where people can come, and my own hours, because these products are really good and I want to call attention to this, she says proudly looking at one of products (a cake). For instance right now she has to prepare a desserts and bring them to the houses of customers.
– Instead of having to bring them, I want to be able to give my phone number and have them come to collect what I make for them. This is my proposal, she explains.
Throughout the conversation, Agueda communicates hope for the future of herself and her family and drive to get there with a joyful spirit. She calmly attends to her children and begins setting out pans to begin cooking lunch as she closes the interview with her desire.
To keep moving forward and have my own future to be better and live differently in the future, she ends with a smile.