La Ceiba, Chalatenango

nuevaesperanza profileThe name of this workshop is a perfect descriptor of what it is to the women who run it. It is their source of hope. Living in La Ceiba, a rural community outside ofChalatenango, El Salvador, there are few options for sources of income. Many families are just surviving. To change this, a group of five resourceful women decided to make their own option. There was one woman in the community who made beautiful pottery from clay that she extracted from the river that flows through the forest that surrounds their tiny community. These women decided there was potential in her pieces, but thought they could add something. They formed a group that would take her pottery in its various forms and add vibrant paintings and glazing, or turn it in to an object for use such as a candle or a wind chime.

nuevaesperanza 1For fifteen years, this coming together of talents has supported these women. For most, it is their sole source of income. Three of the women are single mothers supporting children and aging parents. Even so, this business is more than just something to pay the bills. As the youngest member, 21 year old Maria Lucila Guarado puts it, "It has taught us a lot, we have learned many things."