Labor Day marked the beginning of a month with many activities, as this bulletin documents well. This would be “normal” in a country with “normal” living conditions, but the detail is that everything happens in Venezuela with dramatic circumstances that are documented very well in other media and spaces.

The existence of these and many other social initiatives are a true miracle in Venezuela today. We could stay here, start reading the news and this editorial would have fulfilled its introductory function. However, I do not stop questioning the origin of our human consistency in such a hostile environment. Is our action enough, in itself disproportionate to the magnitude of the problem, to resist in a position that maintains faith and nourishes hope?

Julián Carrón recently asked: “Is there anything that can resist the onslaught of time?” I feel this not only as a personal challenge but for all of us who are in social work and also for those who are going through such complicated and dramatic times in Venezuela. Besides the fact of continuing to exist, what is the parameter to measure our level of resistance in such turbulent times?

“There is something that could not exist because we had never thought about it, we could not think about it and it is here,” said Don Giussani, referring to the evidence of things, to what is happening. In my trips to the Trappist Monastery of Humocaro, when I was passing through El Tocuyo, I never imagined that I would return to the graduation of a group of gastronomy entrepreneurs in that city; in addition, many things that are happening in the country less than a year ago nobody could foresee. We need to continue planning our projects, putting all our effort to do what we must for the situation to improve, but it is necessary to take into account that there is always an “unforeseen” that is equal or more powerful than our best effort and scenario.

“An unforeseen / is the only hope,” wrote the Italian poet Eugenio Montale, and I would like to invite you to look at our experience to see how many events of this nature have marked us forever and changed us positively; Only then can we begin to glimpse where something can come from, or Someone, to help us resist the onslaught of such a complex time.

Alejandro Marius
Gastronomic Entrepreneurs of El Tocuyo presented their business plans

On May 8, the 14 participants of the 1st Cohort of Emprendedoras Gastronómicas (Gastronomic Entrepreneurs) of El Tocuyo made the presentation of dishes, making use of the techniques learned throughout their training and designed with products from the area; in the activity were present as evaluating jury: Sister Rafaela Pérez; chef Sergio Arango; professor William Álvarez; Father Jesús Martínez; and the graduate Marcellis Yépez. In addition, on May 15 they presented their business plans as possible ventures.

The Trabajo y Persona experience was heard in Mexico

On May 8, Mexico welcomed the founder of Trabajo y Persona, Alejandro Marius, to conduct the meeting named: Educar protagonistas del bien común en Venezuela (Educating protagonists of the common good in Venezuela), where Marius told the NGO’s experience, accompanied by testimonies of graduates, who, with their Entrepreneurship stories demonstrate that it is possible to work and continue building in Venezuela.

Mexico brought together Responsible Leaders in Latin America

The founder of Trabajo y Persona, Alejandro Marius, attended the forum Leaders Responsible for Latin America, held from May 9 to 12 by the BMW Foundation, which brought together in Mexico inspiring and innovative leaders from different sectors of society, countries, and regions, in order to promote the exchange of ideas and dialogue on development policies that favor the entire population. There he shared about the Venezuelan situation and the initiatives carried out by the NGO together with different allies throughout the country.

Training of Trainers continues the professional update

The 5th Formador de formadores (Training of Trainers) Formation Meeting was held from May 13 to 17 at the headquarters of L’Oréal Venezuela. This activity was oriented to strengthen, update and renew the knowledge in colorimetry of 17 instructors of the hairdressing area, belonging to the CECAL network of the country. It included the participation of L’Oréal volunteers, among them: Verónica Herrera, Diana Gómez, and Prima Maye; besides the great teacher Vito Giorgio, founder of Salones Vaness.

Chocolate Entrepreneurs of Barquisimeto presented their business plans

On May 14, graduates of the first short course of Artisanal Bombonería of Barquisimeto completed the Business Plan Training, held at the Maria Auxiliadora School. The course, in addition to contemplating the classes, featured talks by veteran entrepreneurs such as Zaida Pinto, from Garuda de Cacao; and Beatriz Peña, from Patilla Shops, who shared with the participant’s tips and advice to get started in that world. Finally, the graduates presented their plans to a jury made up of the chocolate teacher Zaida Pinto, and by the social communicator and advisor, María de Jesús Arce. Venezuela Tierra de Cacao 

El Tocuyo has new Gastronomic Entrepreneurs

On May 20 the graduation of the 1st cohort of Emprendedoras Gastronómicas (Gastronomic Entrepreneurs) in the city of El Tocuyo took place. It was held at the Santo Domingo Boutique Hotel, and was attended by sister Rafaela Pérez; presbyter Jesús Martínez; chef Sergio Arango; the Manager of Public Relations and Social Responsibility of Ford Motor of Venezuela Patricia Fuentes; and the founder of Trabajo y Persona, Alejandro Marius. This project, which formed 14 women entrepreneurs in the area, is conducted in partnership with Ford Motor of Venezuela, Fogones y Bandera, and the Venezuelan Association of Catholic Education (AVEC)

Guatire Chocolate Entrepreneurs also presented their business plans

On May 21, 18 women participating in the 1st cohort of Emprendedoras del Chocolate (Chocolate Entrepreneurs) in Guatire, from the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao project, announced their proposal to a jury composed of the chocolate teacher and graduate from Trabajo y Persona, Marifé Mata; in addition to representatives of the CECAL Santa María Goretti, and Trabajo y Persona. Some of the entrepreneurs took prototypes of their products.

The first Chocolate Entrepreneurs in the city of Carupano started

On May 27, in the spaces of the Casa de la Caridad Santa Ana in Carúpano, Sucre state, the Emprendedoras del Chocolate (Chocolate Entrepreneurs) program was launched as part of the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao project. This new group has the participation of 20 women belonging to the area, who in different ways are related to Venezuelan cocoa. The different sponsors who attended the opening ceremony gave some words highlighting the value of entrepreneurship in the country.

The first encounter between the Trabajo y Persona Accompaniment Team and Caregivers 360

On May 29, in the offices of Trabajo y Persona, the official presentation of the Accompaniment area, with the presentation of Katiuska Huérfano and Carlos Monsalve, to the graduates of the 1st cohort of the Diploma of Cuidadores del adulto mayor – Cuidadores 360 (Diploma of Caregivers of the Elderly, Caregivers360), with the intention of making known the objectives, functions, and methodology of the area.

Guatire has new Chocolate Entrepreneurs

On May 30, at the Andres Eloy Blanco Art Education Center in Guatire, the graduation of 18 women belonging to the 1st Cohort of Emprendedoras del Chocolate (Chocolate Entrepreneurs) in the area, within the framework of the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao project. It was attended by representatives of the Venezuelan Italian Chamber of Commerce; the Venezuelan-French Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture; the director of the CECAL Santa María Goretti; the pastor of Santa Cruz de Pacairigua parish; and Trabajo y Persona

– The graduates of Emprendedoras de la Belleza (Beauty Entrepreneurs) Yomeirmy Hernández and Osiris Cornacchia participated in the Taller principios de economía para no economista (Workshop principles of economics for non-economists), conducted by KPMG. The training allowed them to know the economic terms and principles that can be applied to understand the economy in the current context.
– The graduate of the first cohort of Emprendedoras del Chocolate (Chocolate Entrepreneurs) from the Petare’s Venezuela Tierra de Cacao project Rusmary Betancourt started internships in Bitácora Cacao to learn about the Bean to Bar process; In this way, the alliance between both institutions continues.
Sonia Arias and Olga Martínez, Emprendedoras del Chocolate (Chocolate Entrepreneurs), and graduates of the Venezuela Tierra de cacao project participated in the chocolate with social impact tasting conducted by the Venezuelan-French Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture. Both presented delicious elaborations made with raw materials of Chocolates Franceschi.
Emprendedoras de Chocolate (Chocolate Entrepreneurs) from Barquisimeto Dolores Gómez, Mary Alvarado, María Teresa Colmenárez, and Dorline Gámez, participated in the Basic Cost Workshop given by KPMG on May 16. They were able to learn about the description of prime costs and production costs, as well as administrative and selling expenses.