Learning Skills for Life


13 year old Deysi is the eldest of her four siblings and has just completed the sixth grade. She lives with her siblings and parents in Pozo Seco, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala. Even though her studies didn’t prevent her from helping around the house, her family still faced the challenges of extreme poverty.

In times of scarcity, her parents’ small farm did not cover the cost of food and they had to buy on credit from local stores to survive. Often lacking sufficient income to cover just their basic needs, Deysi was still hopeful that she could continue school in the coming year.


Deysi joined Trickle Up’s program in 2015 as part of the project Promoting Economic Opportunity for Young Women and Girls and she now Deysi operates a store out of her family’s house that she started with the $79 (600 quetzales) she received in seed capital. In addition, she cares for the four pigs she bought with the profits of the store. She tells us: “I have the ability to run my business because I like sales.” With her earnings and some support from her parents’ incomes, she bought a refrigerator to diversify her business by selling ice cream, juices, soft drinks, cheese, and more.

Through Trickle Up’s program, Deysi’s family has improved their finances and they have enough to eat.

They no longer need to request credit in local stores because they have enough income to buy food year-round. Between her savings and loans she received from her savings group, she has been able to help her parents with family expenses. After one year, she has earned approximately $659 (4,935 quetzales) and plans to continue to increase her working capital. One challenge has been finding a good location to expand her store, but after seeing the initial results of her business, her parents decided to build an extension to the house so Deysi can have a larger store. With the $27 (205 quetzales) she saved in the first year, she invested in her business and helped her parents with some household expenses. Now Deysi says she will save even more this year with the savings group because she wants to be able to buy more products for her bigger store when construction is done.


Deysi is happy to be part of her savings group because felt she had never before been part of a group where her opinion mattered and she felt truly involved. She also an important role in decision-making processes in her family now that she contributes financial resources, but perhaps even more importantly, she feels confident enough in herself to make decisions about her own life. After learning about sexual and reproductive health through the program, Deysi feels she knows what she wants for her future and she understands the risks and problems facing adolescent girls today.

Deysi has become an example to her neighbors because they see how she has changed her life through Trickle Up.

They invite her to participate in community activities because they trust her skills and opinions. She also wants to continue studying and is pleased that she will be able to pay for further education because of her business. She wants to be a teacher when she grows up so she can help her community, and she wants her business to continue to grow so she can help her siblings in fulfilling their dreams too.

Deysi Esmeralda Sansare Choc of Pozo Seco, Guatemala
Shopkeeper, young teen entrepreneur, future teacher