Meet the Women of Esperanza
MARTHA - Martha Evangelista Cordero
Martha was born in Cristo Rey, a crowded neighborhood of Santo Domingo. She lives with her husband Enrique and two of her kids, José and Crystal. She came to Las Malvinas looking for her own space and settled in the lower part of the community where the Esperanza Factory is located.
Martha used to work at a clothing factory, but now she’s a stay-at-home mom. When Esperanza Soaps came to the neighborhood, Martha eagerly learned how to make soap and became part of the Esperanza team. “Making soap is not just a job; it also helps me clear my head and it gives me a sense of accomplishment.”
Martha wants to finish building her house and send her kids to college. “Working at Esperanza Soaps I can invest in what my kids need so they can be good people and get an education.”
JOCY - Joceline Ramirez
Joceline, or “Jocy”, grew up in northern Santo Domingo and came to Las Malvinas II in 2007 with her husband Ismael. They have 4 kids, two boys and two girls, ages 8, 6, 3, and 1. Jocy heard of Esperanza Soaps through Martha and attended all our workshops, quickly learning all the details of soapmaking.
Jocy is a natural soapmaker and is our Production Supervisor at Esperanza Soaps. She loves her job because “I work with people from my own community and I get along with them well.”
Esperanza is Jocy’s first job. She started a family at 17, which kept her from completing school or ever working. But Jocy dreams of becoming a nurse. During 2016-2017 she’ll finish high school and then go to college.
MINDRY - Josefina Luciano
Mindry grew up in different neighborhoods of Santo Domingo and moved to Las Malvinas when she was 15. Her parents moved to the community before there were services or roads, seeking their own piece of land to build a house. The 4th child of 6, Mindry is bright and hardworking, and finished high school at 17. She then started studying Initial Education at the University of Santo Domingo, the biggest public university in the country. She has worked at schools and in other jobs to pay for college.
Today Mindry is 24 and lives with her husband Daniel and baby Dariel in a small rented apartment. Soapmaking comes as a great alternative for her, as she can work and take care of her baby at the same time. Mindry is eager to graduate and work. “I want to help my mom finish her house and help send my younger siblings to college. I also want to move out of where I rent and be able to have my own place.”