Maria (far right) with Threads Founders Kara Valentine Wiegand and Angela Melfi in Guatemala in 2017
Meet Maria Pacheco: social activist in Guatemala and founder of a thriving artisan cooperative.
Maria started her career pursuing organic farming near her home of Guatemala City. When she saw that much of the surrounding land was untenable, she shifted her focus.
Many people in the community were talented artisans, but their local marketplace was meager, meaning their income was quite limited. Maria began working to expand their marketplace worldwide so they could earn an income without leaving their villages.
Over the years, this has transformed into a thriving artisan cooperative.
We like to call Maria ‘the Mother Teresa of Guatemala.’ She carries the dreams of every person she meets as inspiration for building a brighter world.
When asked what skill has been most critical to her success, she answers, “Listening to people. Initially, this meant listening to the women in the villages. Now, it means listening to my team and to the different stakeholders with an open mind.”
Maria truly embodies the notion of collaboration. As we deepen our relationship with her cooperative, we can’t wait to see what we create together.