Ask most Salvadorans and they will admit, they buy their pupusas rather than make them. Making them is time and labor intensive, “an art” as one person disclosed! That is why SEW’s micro-enterprise, Las Cedrinas, a restaurant in a local market in San Rafael Cedros, is so successful. Their client base is growing and they have “a competitive advantage in the production of papusas which none of our competitors currently make.”
Five women work at Las Cedrinas, with formal educational backgrounds ranging from 1st grade to three years at University. They are proud of their products and are producing a profit. They work from 5:30 am to noon and earn $5 a day. The women have received training in accounting, costing, expense calculation, monthly evaluation techniques, self-esteem, women’s rights and gender violence from SIRAMA, SEW/CIS staff and San Rafael Women’s Association.
Ana Ruth, one of the original founders of the market restaurant, shared what this has meant for her. “I got involved because I wanted to grow, to be independent and have some income to sustain my family. Our goal is to produce typical Salvadoran food—to revive our culture. Everyone looks for our papusas. What’s special about them is we have a special touch, a flavor – our well- kept secret to success.”
Highly motivated, the women are looking to “grow our business, integrate more women, train each woman in more aspects of the business and develop job descriptions for the different positions we fill.”