“Be in love with what you do, with your life, with your work and with your dreams. Be more in love every day.” – Pedro Jimenez
Esperanza was 17; Pedro was 19. They glanced at each other in church. The glances turned to eye contact, which turned into a shy “Hello” outside the service.
That was all Pedro needed. He knew that Esperanza was the one.
Esperanza and Pedro coincidentally took the same bus back home and Pedro paid close attention to where she got off. For seven days straight, he rode his bike in circles near the bus stop, hoping he’d catch a glimpse of Esperanza. On day eight, he finally caught sight of her — but she was with her family! That was no time to flirt, so he rode on by. On day nine, he biked around in the same area and, as fate would have it, Esperanza was standing on the sidewalk, alone.
The “Hello” on that dusty sidewalk turned to conversation, which turned into a date, which turned into a memorable Valentine’s Day a few years later.
“I made him chicken stew,” says Esperanza. “We both came from very poor families, and we didn’t normally have chicken. I saved up, and bought just enough to share one bowl of chicken stew between the two of us.”
Pedro says while he appreciated the gesture, that stew did not matter.
“I wanted to marry her when I saw her,” says Pedro. “The small details — they just confirmed that for me.”
This coming March, Pedro and Esperanza Jimenez will have been together for 30 years. They have three kids, and a small jewelry workshop about five minutes away from NOVICA’s offices in Guatemala.
Pedro and their son, Estuardo, design and produce the jewelry made of Guatemalan jade and silver. Esperanza handles the business side of things, which was something she had to learn by trial and error. Both Pedro and Esperanza received little to no formal education, so they are completely self-taught and self-motivated.
“We live by one philosophy: love. Be in love with what you do, with your life, with your work and with your dreams. Be more in love every day.”
This philosophy has paid off in a big way. All three children have graduated from college. The oldest daughter works as the head of human resources at a big restaurant. The middle daughter just finished law school and is now ready to start a career. Estuardo works with his parents in the workshop and also sells his own jewelry, as an independent NOVICA artisan.
“I’m amazed by what my parents were able to achieve,” says Estuardo. “They had no education at all, yet they have built a really good workshop and a good life. They took a gamble and decided to make good quality products with good materials, and it paid off.”