Meet Mariela

Mariela Tó y Tó is a professional chef and burgeoning business owner in Santa Clara, La Laguna, Guatemala. She had been selling her home cooking and signature rellenitos for years, but with the help of Trickle Up, she was able to start recording her gains and losses, and adjust her approach to purchasing supplies and selling her products. These adjustments and the changes she made through the pandemic are emblematic of her adaptability and resilience in forging pathways out of poverty.
Read Transcript

I really enjoy cooking. I especially like trying new recipes that I get off the internet.
Yes, I’m a professional chef. In the morning I wash and cook plantains.
The day before I prepare the beans and let them cool.
I mash the plantains, then form them into little balls. What I’m making is called rellenitos.
I like selling them too.
I like to see the children smile, or sometimes cry, when the parents don’t buy them.
I save money now for my children’s future because someday we might have hard times. I’d like them to have their own business. Not like mine, something bigger.
I was always selling before, but I wasn’t looking over my gains or losses.
This program helped me a lot because I was able to grow my business.
During the pandemic I changed my strategy. I stopped selling rellenitos and sold plantains by the dozen. It went well for me, and I made a lot of income.
My advice is to look for an opportunity, have a strategy and don’t be ashamed.
Start a business and use it to your advantage. I know it’s possible.

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