A note from Sister Marie:
Marina is one of founders of SEW´s Sewing Cooperative, Párajo Flor, in Suchitoto. She is a single 51 year old woman with four years of formal education and 5 children. She told us her story:
When we first came together, I knew nothing about sewing or dyeing clothing. We were embroidering little pieces of cloth. We had no machine. Eventually we made a small tablecloth. We made big sacrifices to travel here; we didn't had economic resources.
Later, when we connected with the CIS/SEW, we had business trainings and trainings about our dignity as women.We began to move forward.
When the group secured a government contract to make school uniforms, I was one of the first to sew them.We had only pedal machines. I spent more time unsewing than sewing; my collars for shirts were lopsided.
With the help of SEW and City Hall, we got industrial machines. When we had trouble with one of the machines because of an electrical problem, I took the whole machine apart. I couldn’t repair it, but I diagnosed the problem and I got a mechanic I knew to fix it. If we had had to pay for the repair, it would have cost us $60. So when we had training on how to repair the sewing machines, I put all my will into it; it was exciting.Going to the training was a big sacrifice because it meant 15 full days away from the store with no income. I’d like to work in repairing machines but the tools are very expensive.
Our business has had a big impact on the community here.Many come to purchase indigo clothing products and then go to other places to find cheaper products. They always come back, because we have the best quality and the best price.
In looking to the future, we need help to learn computers so we can do accounting more effectively.