"My desire to learn was very strong and I was motivated by my ambition to be the best and to help my family. Carving is a complicated craft, one that is filled with art and creativity."
"I was born in a village close to Antigua Guatemala which is very beautiful, has amazing traditions and the landscape has many shades of green. I come from a big family, I have six siblings, and we lead a simple life but with many needs.
"When I was 11 years old I walked into a wood workshop and asked the owner to teach me the carver's craft. The first thing I did was an accent table that I still have and treasure. I made it with pieces of wood I found on the floor.
"It wasn't an easy experience, but I learned a lot by gradually carving more and more different things. My desire to learn was very strong and I was motivated by my ambition to be the best and of course, to help my family. Carving is a complicated craft, one that is filled with art and creativity.
"It took a lot of effort and hard work to finally start my own workshop together with my wife. I've also been able to offer jobs to other people and we craft wardrobes, doors and dining room furniture amongst other things. When a client comes in with an idea, I enjoy the challenge of carving it no matter how difficult it may seem.
"I chose this craft because I'm fascinated by the process of transforming an idea into an object. It hasn't been easy to establish myself as a lone artisan, but my wife's support encourages me to constantly renew myself as an artist. Wood inspires me: its shape, color, grain and fragrance make my imagination fly away to return with new ideas.
"I feel very happy and proud with what I have achieved because when I first started I didn't get paid. Now, thanks to all who taught me, those who have supported me, plus my effort and passion, I have been able to have my own workshop, design my own products, and offer a job to others.
"And yet I still have dreams. I dream of one day having a large wood furniture company and offer employment to more people.
"I believe it is important to showcase the hand-crafted nature of wood carving, and that's why I take time to teach my apprentices and assistants. I don't want to see this art form disappear. I also stress the importance of working with certified woods and being conscious of preserving the environment. In fact, we have participated in reforestation campaigns to ensure green and healthy forests.
"During my free time I organize and support the children’s soccer games. My sons play soccer and I love playing with them. My wife is truly my partner in life, both at home with our family, and at work.
"I am so grateful to the Lord for allowing me to achieve what I wanted. I have a workshop I can leave to my children, I have a good job and I try to instill in others the example of hard work, will and honesty that my parents taught me. Now I only need to keep on dreaming to continue going forward.
"Joining Novica is exciting because their customers can appreciate my art and through their support we can provide our children with an education and better opportunities for their future."