“Hello everyone, my name is Seleste Siguenza Gonzalez. I was born in Guatemala City, and I am dedicated to the design and creation of handbags and other accessories.
“I had a very wonderful childhood. I have two brothers and a beautiful mother who has always dedicated herself to taking care of us. Regrettably, my dad died when I was just eight months old. It was a very hard blow for everyone; my mother transformed into a very hardworking and strong woman who I have learned from and admire a lot.
“During my secondary education, I focused on a career in drawing. Truthfully, drawing wasn’t my strength, but I went to school in order to follow in the footsteps of my brother. I never applied myself, and I didn’t imagine I could do it. Later I studied law in the university, and I worked for a long time in an institution where I was able to see the potential for design. Whenever I felt overworked and stressed, my greatest escape was to draw. One day, without realizing it, I drew a bag. It was one of my first designs. I loved the result, but at the time, it was just a drawing and nothing more. I began to draw more, and the next thing I knew, I had a bunch of different designs in a little folder. My mom was amazed by them, and she always asked me why I didn’t make them a reality. I never thought about doing that; it always seemed like a different part of my life.
“Together, my mom and I volunteered at a church in the outskirts of Guatemala City. Little by little, a lot of other people began to volunteer, too. It was as if my mom and I made people realize the importance of volunteer work. Unfortunately, these extra workers did not have much education, with few resources and even fewer opportunities. So, my family would get together a little bit of money so that we could donate a little bit of food at the end of the month. Of course, we knew that it would not be enough. We had the dream of building a small school where we could give employment opportunities to various people, but above all else, that the children of the area could have the education that they needed at a low cost. At the moment, we have a small hardware store where youths work and can generate good and constant income for their families.
“Unfortunately, I have recently been without work, and so I made the decision to create my bags with the help of a friend with good background knowledge. I finally began this dream of mine; I create my own designs and I teach them to youths who help us in the process. I also work with women from the community who help me make these beautiful textiles on traditional looms. Little by little, I know that we will continue this journey together, and we will see a change in our lives. We continue to learn together, and we have formed a beautiful team.
“I have three marvelous children for whom I wake up every day and for whom I fight, so that in their hands they can have a better future and achieve their dreams. Working hard with a simple heart, but a great desire to succeed, I work for my country, for its people, and for contributing to its progress.”