"My art is crafting bags and accessories by recycling discarded snack wrappers."
"I'm Rosibel Cruz and I was born in Nicaragua. I'm a hard-working, dedicated, creative and passionate woman. My art is crafting bags and accessories by recycling discarded snack wrappers. I am self-taught in this craft.
"When my husband and I took a Christmas trip in 2011, I saw some bags made from this material and I wanted to learn how to make them. I began practicing how to weave with the snack bags I'd find.
"My friends visited me while I was working on a bag and they said they were impressed by me learning this craft. One the girls ordered a purse for an event but, when she saw how slowly and badly I wove, she made fun of me and said how difficult it would be for me to have it ready on time. This discouraged me a bit but, two years later, this person saw me on television in an interview with CNN. Since then, that woman looks at me with different eyes, admiring and respecting my work. This experience has taught me that everything can be achieved with effort.
"I practiced a lot and, between so many trials and errors, I managed to improve my technique. For a while, I worked alone, but then I started to teach what I'd learned to other women. I've shared my techniques with more than 40 women today, mostly peddlers and trash collectors. A few of them work directly with me, designing handwoven patterns and working from home so they aren't away from their family and can take care of their children.
"When I started this design project in 2012, I wasn't inspired by anything. I just felt so encouraged and then, soon after, I conceived my daughter Valentina, who greatly inspired me. She grew along with my project and, today, I can imagine her using these bags some day and directing the project her father and I began. Now I also have a son, Marvin David, who adds to my inspiration, and I also imagine him as a future protagonist in this.
"I'm very grateful to my family because they're my source of inspiration and motivation to get ahead. My husband has always supported me and, despite coming home tired from work, he always makes time to help me.
"I hope everything I imagine will come true. I dream about expanding, having a shop to sell my designs, a bigger and better equipped workshop with more machines and lots of work to give opportunities to more people in my community."