The Guatemala Happiness Project – Building Confidence with Make-overs & Improv


At NOVICA we believe that confidence is the key to success. Our artists need to be able to convince themselves and their customers that they can achieve greatness. That’s true of nearly every job, on every continent.

But, self-assurance can be very daunting when it seems like the cards are stacked against you.

This summer, the women from “Believe and Create for the Future” were the recipient of Central America’s Happiness Project. These women used to collect recyclables from Guatemala City’s largest dumpsite in order to survive. Thanks to an education program, they now make and sell handcrafted jewelry at local markets and on

When Douglas from NOVICA Guatemala office met these women, he noticed how shy and timid they were. They were making beautiful jewelry, but were almost afraid to show it. Well, on his freetime, Douglas was taking an improv comedy class. With each class, Douglas noticed his confidence building… and that got him thinking about these women. What if they took an improv class? What if they built their confidence and finally learned how beautiful they were, both on the inside and outside?

Douglas formed his plan… He would host an improv workshop, and local beauticians would give these women a make-over. Douglas and Diego, NOVICA’s Central America Director, would then take their pictures so the women would be reminded of the day and their beauty.

That day was one of the most special days for everyone involved, Douglas and Diego included. The women laughed and practiced public speaking at the improv workshop. Some were quite good!

Guatemala Happiness Project

Then during the make-overs, the women really blossomed. They were given haircuts, make-up and a new shirt.


Guatemala Happiness ProjectDuring the photoshoot, the women posed for the camera and proudly displayed their newfound confidence.


A few weeks later, the women were given a framed picture of themselves. Douglas writes this about the experience: “Sandra (one of the mothers) told me thanks for showing them that they are not alone. We learned so much from them too, because they are really happy.. Smiling every time, no matter what their conditions or troubles… they are fighting day by day!”





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Happiness Projects Update for 2014
5 years ago

[…] This year NOVICA Team Guatemala was able to help a group of women achieve newfound confidence through comedy improv classes and a whole new look.  Learn more about this project […]