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Xiomara Arriaga

Xiomara Arriaga is a businesswoman, mother and community leader. Thanks to the SDG Fund joint programme in Honduras she has gone from spending cold night selling handmade hats and scarves in a park, to owning her own business selling artisanal goods made from traditional Lenca textiles and being an active member of the community. She is one of a number of artisans who received funding as part of an initiative to revitalise the native Lenca culture and help break the cycle of poverty that many women find themselves in. This support has allowed her to establish a business that works on a large scale, for example, providing thousands of lanyards for international events and summits. Her work volume has grown to the point where she is now able to provide employment opportunities for others, through five temporary positions to help her fill large orders. This programme has helped Xiomara develop financial and entrepreneurial skills as well as improving her confidence in her own skills and abilities. As part of the Lenca Art Association she is now part of a network that helps her position her products on national markets and has seen her become a community leader. Her house has become a meeting point for locals to share experience and knowledge, build networks and coordinate for large trade fairs. “Before, I had no job and no way of generating an income for my family. I never imagined I would be able to create temporary jobs for other members of the group. Young people like me need opportunities to help pull us out of poverty,” says Xiomara.