Alfredo Hernandez and Silvia Perez, carpenter and weaver

Clients of Génesis Empresarial in Antigua, Guatemala

Alfredo Hernandez and Silvia Perez aren't just proud parents to a beautiful young family in Antigua Guatemala; they are excellent business partners.

He is a carpenter who spent years making caskets with his father and brother, until a friend offered to teach him how to make antique replica furniture, which is how he now makes a living.

Silvia makes intricate Mayan embroidered fabrics in her backstrap loom, an ancient tradition carried through generations in this part of Guatemala.

Silvia joined a Génesis Empresarial solidarity group with other women in her community, where she learned business skills and got her first small loan.

The couple has since taken out an individual loan to improve their home, which used to have plank walks, a corrugated tin roof, dirt floors, and a wood stove. They now have a two-story brick-and-mortar building with a proper roof, cement floors, and a gas stove. They can't wait to finish up their house and expand their business, which will include a storefront in this brand new building.