Victoria & Selvin

Victoria Tiul lives in the mountainous village of Pozo Seco in northern Guatemala with five children and her husband, Guillermo. Their eldest son, Selvin, 14, is affected by a physical disability which makes it difficult for him to walk. After joining Trickle Up, Victoria opened a store selling chickens, which has blossomed into a thriving shop where her son is learning how to run the family business.
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Victoria: “You can never understand what it feels like to start each day without anything to eat.”

Victoria: “When my son Selvin was born, he seemed healthy. But he could not move. He did not take his first steps until he was four. I was so worried for his future. Because of his disabilities, he would never be able to work in the fields to make a living.”

Selvin: “When I started school, I had a really hard time. My schoolmates would make fun of me, bully me or trip me up. I felt discouraged and sad. But this year I am feeling more hopeful.”

Victoria: “With our initial Trickle Up grant we bought 100 pounds of chicken meat which was a very good product to sell. We were trained to invest our profits so we decided to open a store where Selvin can help. I have seen my son Selvin change from sitting around, being so sadm to being a happy boy who is busy at home and school.”

Selvin: “Every day after school I go straight to work at the store. First I open my accounting book and write down the date. I keep track of everything I’ve bought, especially the chickens, and everything I sell.”

Victoria: “Now my children always have something to eat. And this is the new home we have built with more space to live and a good tin roof over our heads. I’m especially happy that I’ve learned how to save. And now, even though the Trickle Up cycle is finished, I am still saving on my own. I use the money for my family, and for investing in our business. We recently bought a refrigerator. We only have one last payment to make on it. And now we want to buy a motorcycle so my husband can travel further and deliver even more chicken meat. Selvin has learned how to run the store. Even after we’re gone I know that he will be able to earn a living.”

Selvin: “I want to finish school and I want a bigger store. Someday I will buy a piece of land close to the road so I will always have a business, and it will grow.”

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