“Only when they have been seriously shipwrecked will they seriously find what they need,” says the great G.K. Chesterton in his piece “The living man”, but for those of us who live in Venezuela the question always arises: do we still need to be shipwrecked further? Have we hit bottom? The truth is that every time we feel that the ship is falling apart, not only does the storm subside, but we miraculously find a way to continue sailing. It is not about settling for swallowing water from a “perfect storm”, but finding a silver lining even at every stroke of the wave.

We started May by celebrating Labor Day in unprecedented and very complex conditions. Projections for Latin America published in the joint report between the ILO and ECLAC are alarming: an average unemployment that can reach 11.4% (with 11.5 million new unemployed), and an underemployment rate of 54% that places this population in a situation of extreme vulnerability to the pandemic. This would imply that in our region poverty would reach 34.7% (214.7 million people) and extreme poverty 13% (83.4 million people), thus increasing already existing inequalities. Although Venezuela is not included in these reports, we know that our country is far from the average considering multiple factors.

Faced with such a panorama, what can each of us do? It is more than documented in history that solutions and real changes are not generated when everything “is all right”, but rather when we have a shipwrecking feeling. In this sense, not only can we accumulate the impacts that reality gives us, but it is also necessary to understand the meaning of what happens to us and to look at what we have in the present: who we are, what gifts we have received, what reality is made of, what we know how to do, who we can count on, and to get started. There are always positive signs that reality hides.

Freedom in these moments could be reduced to looking into the shadows or turning and looking at where light comes from. This way also allows us to see which adventure partners we have. Our choice is to recognize this or not, and it has to be done now!

Dr. Eugenio Borgna points out a risk and a possibility: «Once danger ceases, forgetfulness easily enters men. However, there will be some, I do not know how many, who in this time of pain will have taken the opportunity to be more attentive, to listen to themselves and to others more deeply. Yes, after this rough test some of us will be reborn, capable of new hope.”

Alejandro Marius
Workshop on Pricing strategies for products and services

On May 4, 7 and 11, the forum on Pricing strategies for products and services was held with the aim of supporting entrepreneurs in the design of cost structures and estimation of prices of products and services. The activity was carried out using the WhatsApp messaging tool, in three sessions of approximately 1 hour, with participation from graduates of Valencia from the Emprendimiento y Nutrición – Gastronomía360 (Entrepreneurship and Nutrition – Gastronomy360) program, and Emprendedoras del Chocolate (Chocolate Entrepreneurs) from the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao project.

Students from Valencia participated in the online workshop Knowing cocoa and chocolate

From May 18 to 21, and within the framework of the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao project, the first online workshop Knowing cocoa and chocolate was held in the city of Valencia, Carabobo. Twenty one students ranging from 15 to 17 years of age participated and showed great interest in learning about this food and its importance for the development of the country.

Youth from Lara and Sucre participated in the online workshop Knowing cocoa and chocolate

On May 21, 22 and 23, and within the framework of the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao project, the Knowing cacao and chocolate online workshop was held, aimed at students between the ages of 15 and 17 years from different high schools in the Bermúdez municipality in the Sucre state, and from La Salle School in the state of Lara. This training was carried out with the aim of showing this valuable product and its importance for the development of the country.

Emprendedoras del Chocolate (Chocolate Entrepreneurs) prepared prizes for young people from the online workshop Knowing cocoa and chocolate

In May, Lucy Luna and Marian Rodríguez, Emprendedoras del Chocolate graduates from the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao project in Carúpano, Sucre state; and Dolores Gómez, also a Emprendedora del Chocolate from Barquisimeto, Lara, prepared the prizes awarded to the young winners of the Knowing cocoa and chocolate online workshop, held on May 21, 22 and 23. These entrepreneurs stood out with their production and delivery of tablets, cakes, muffins and chocolate pound cakes to the winners, following prevention measures suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Chat forum Stuffed Brownies with Violeta García

On May 30, the Stuffed Brownies chat forum was facilitated by Emprendedora del Chocolate (Chocolate Entrepreneurs) and co-founder of Nirvana Cioccolato Violeta García, with the help of Trabajo y Persona. The training included participation by more than 150 graduates from the different programs carried out by the nationwide organization and lasted 2 hours. This activity is carried out as part of the proposals to accompany female entrepreneurs during these times in which reality suggests reinventing business models.

Entrepreneur completed crafts for the Italian ambassador to Venezuela

On May 25, the Emprendedora del Chocolate (Chocolate Entrepreneur), Marian Rodríguez, a graduate of the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao project, delivered the request made by the Italian ambassador to Venezuela, Silvio Mignano, to representatives of the Hacienda San José in Carúpano, who will bring ten solid cocoa maracas, ten chest-type maracas and 2 pairs of earrings made by hand, up to the hands of the ambassador in the city of Caracas. It is memorable that in February 2020, during a diplomatic visit to Carúpano, the ambassador had been delighted with the work of the entrepreneurs

Marifé Mata: mom and entrepreneur

In the month of May, the graduate of the 2nd cohort of Emprendedoras del Chocolate (Chocolate Entrepreneurs) of Guarenas, Miranda state, Marifé Mata, sold hamburgers, streamers, tequeños, pizzas, nests, profiteroles, tartlets and crackled cookies on request, without abandoning the sale of her nutritional bars that have earned her tenders in companies to work as their supplier. In order to meet the requests, Marifé has coordinated with her husband and her cousin, while balancing her life as a mother and an entrepreneur. This is how her venture, Sabor a Maná, became a family venture.

Marisol Sánchez: devising new recipes

The graduate of the 1st cohort of Emprendedoras del Chocolate (Chocolate Entrepreneurs) of Bailadores (2015), Marisol Sánchez, is in the formulation of her first chocolate tablet with sugar substitutes that may be beneficial for diabetics; this given that her mother was recently diagnosed with this chronic disease. Marisol, who lives in San Cristóbal, Táchira state, continues to offer her signature cocoa powder on the market, which is the product most requested by her customers.

Jenifer Tovar: responsibility and work

Jeniffer Tovar, a Emprendedora de la Belleza (Beauty Entrepreneur) graduated from the 3rd cohort of the Belleza por un Futuro (Beauty for a Future) program, is offering a comprehensive service of hairdressing, manicures, pedicures, waxing and eyebrow pigmentation of together with her daughter in a space in the home reserved for work, located in Valles del Tuy, Mirandas. Every day they serve a maximum of 3 clients by appointment, and meeting the standards established by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Yomeirmy Hernandez: insight on social networks

The Emprendedora de la Belleza (Beauty Entrepreneur), graduated from the 7th cohort of the Belleza por un Futuro (Beauty for a Future) program, Yomeirmy Hernández, and a publicist by profession, held a contest on her Instagram account (@yoher_001), awarding hairdressing services that included cutting, drying and ironing. In this way, she remains active with its clients, generating interaction on her social networks and maintaining the presence of her enterprise

Geraldine Zerpa: opening new opportunities

On May 1, Geraldine Zerpa, a graduate of the 2nd cohort of the Diplomado en Gestión de la Chocolatería (Diploma in Chocolate Management), carried out in alliance with the University of Los Andes, within the framework of the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao project, began work as an analyst in the Research Department and Development of New Products of the CIVEN company. Geraldine has a degree in Chemistry in addition to being a Chocolate Entrepreneur.

Juan Carlos Ramírez: hairdressing and makeup service at home

The participant of the Formación de Formadores (Training of Trainers) program, Juan Carlos Ramírez, remains active during the national quarantine offering home visit hairdressing and makeup services in El Tigre, Anzoátegui state. He serves one person per day and by appointment.

Marisbel Acosta: perseverance in the midst of circumstances

The Emprendedora de la Belleza (Beauty Entrepreneur) graduated from the 7th cohort of the Belleza por un Futuro (Beauty for a Future) program, Marisbel Acosta, offers haircuts, hair drying, ironing, surgery applications, hydration and hair coloring in her beauty salon located next to her home, in Los Teques, Miranda. She serves 2 people maximum per day and by previous appointment.

May 1 was International Labor Day, and our team took that opportunity to tell why work is so important to the individual and for society …

#YoTrabajoEnCasa #YoTrabajoEnMí #YoTrabajoPorElBienComún.