"I picked up a piece of wood and began carving it, just out of curiosity. I realized I was good at it! What a blessing!"
"I was born in the Departamento de Escuintla in 1960. My parents were originally from Chiquimula, far from the city. My father was a farmer and worked in banana plantations on the coast, and my mother was always a homemaker. They had nine children – seven boys and two girls. I am the second-born. Neither of my parents were artisans; my brothers and I were taught to farm and to sell our crops.
"When we grew up, my brothers and I raised corn and we sold it in a large market in the city. But I always had trouble working the land, as I have a bad leg that didn't let me move easily through the fields. So I had the idea of doing something else for a living. This wasn't easy for my parents, as farming is our family legacy. But I didn't care – I knew I could do something else and develop myself despite the problem with my leg.
"I bought some materials and began making furniture at home to sell. This was my job and my source of income for seven years.
"I remember that in 1988, I was at home making furniture. I picked up a piece of wood and began carving it, just out of curiosity. I realized I was good at it! What a blessing! This is how I began making tests and practicing. Little by little, I got better at it. I never imagined I would become an artisan, because I had never seen that in my home. But discovering the beautiful world of handicrafts has been a great gift of God.
"Now I have been working with wood for most of my life. This ability has become our means of making a living and the pride of my family. Now, one of my brothers is learning to do the job. He helps me in the workshop, and so do our wives. It is a job that allows us to be together, and it's different day to day.
"We have faced many challenges, among them, using certified wood. It's very hard to get wood anywhere, but legal wood is expensive and hard to find. Because of my love for my country and for nature, I resolved to use only wood that complies with all the legal requirements and that is a part of a sustainable project. In this way, I contribute to preserving trees, the environment, and the Peten – a major source of oxygen for Guatemala. I can come home at night and sleep with a clear conscience, knowing I am doing my job well.
"What I would like most is to make my workshop grow, and teach young men this art. This is why I am grateful for your comments, because this encourages me to create new designs. Many thanks to all my Novica friends. I hope you like my work."