“Helping the poor with money must always be a temporary solution to solve emergencies. The great goal should always be to allow them a decent life through work.” In this forceful statement by Pope Francis in his encyclical Laudato Sí (2015) and reiterated in the Fratelli tutti (2020), the distancing of populist policies and a preference towards access to decent work for all is made clear.

For this to happen, it is important that several things come together: the desire to work on the part of people, entrepreneurs who invest to generate decent jobs, a state that guarantees and encourages a conducive environment, civil society organizations with multiple proposals, etc. But in addition to all these factors, it is important that there is a common vision to promote a culture of work, as well as to move away from the welfare that destroys people and puts them at the mercy of any kind of power.

In Venezuela we are experiencing a situation that can easily be classified as “urgent” as mentioned above, but it has lasted a long time. Therefore, helping the poorest is justified and in fact many initiatives are being carried out but they are insufficient for the dimension of the problem. However, just as two banks are necessary for a river bed to merge, offering opportunities for people to work and progress, or at least live by their own effort, cannot be ignored.

In the face of challenges of this magnitude, social entrepreneurs like myself know only one formula: start with passion and conviction within our square foot of influence, learn from reality always, and if it works, climb hand in hand together with others.

Let us never discount the impact of small, fragile things and apparently without public impact. An example of this is the cocoa flower: Something small, very beautiful and destined to disappear so that its fruit can be born: the cocoa maraca. The beauty of creation would reach this far, but we have the inheritance of generations of people who, thanks to their work, have managed to produce chocolate. From a very fragile flower, the smile of millions of people around the world can be achieved.

This same logic has inspired us in Trabajo y Persona, as documented in this newsletter in different ways. Small initiatives that translate into changed lives and that begin, little by little, to change others. Inspired by that conviction, we began a cultural project in 2018, which compiles songs from Venezuelan chores with a contemporary sound, to spread the desire to work and generate many smiles, just like chocolate. The promotional theme of this project is a composition by the master Aquiles Báez, and it is precisely called: Venezuela, Eres la flor del cacao

I encourage you to identify our starting point (our flower) and let’s get to work, because making the world smile is possible if we all put our grain, in this case, of cocoa.

Alejandro Marius
Chat forum “Tequeños Merenderos”

On October 3, the Tequeños Merenderos chat forum was facilitated by Celide Lamas, a graduate of the first cohort of Craft Bombonería de Barquisimeto. The goal of this training was to broadcast the recipe of the famous Venezuelan appetizer and motivate others to undertake in this field. 394 people participated, of which 224 were graduates from  the organization. This call exceeded expectations and for this reason, two chat forums had to be organized the same day.

The virtual edition of the Cuidadores360 course began

On October 6, the virtual course Cuidadores360 began in alliance with Ford Motor of Venezuela and the coordination of Yndira Díaz. From the educational platform of the Higher University Institute of Marketing (ISUM), this training has reached 30 selected candidates between 20 and 69 years of age. In the first four weeks of the course, it benefited from the collaboration of professionals in the area of personal development and trade specifics such as honor to work and physiotherapy. Additionally, the participants received training provided by the Peruvian NGO Alcanzar al Adulto Mayor, and the Colombian NGO Saber y Vida.

Chat forum “Muffins and Cupcakes: same preparation?”

On October 17, the Muffins and Cupcakes: same preparation? chat forum took place. It was organized by the Trabajo y Persona team and included the participation of Aglles Valero, chef and graduate of the third virtual course held within the framework of the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao project in Valencia. The goal of this activity was to teach subjects related to basic confectionery in order to consolidate the skills of 214 graduates of various programs, and 16 Trabajo y Persona employees.

Webinar on communication in entrepreneurship

On October 22, the webinar Understanding communication of your enterprise took place. It was dictated by social communicator Ariana González through live streaming via YouTube. This training was intended to address what is needed for potential customers and regular buyers to listen and pay more attention to entrepreneurs. The activity was available to all audiences, reaching 250 views the next day.

Gastronomy360 online course started

On October 27, the Gastronomia360 (Gastronomy360) virtual course began, within the framework of the Emprendimiento y Nutrición (Entrepreneurship and Nutrition) program, which is carried out thanks to the alliance with Ford Motor de Venezuela, Escuela de Gastronomía Venezolana Adelis Sisirucá, and Fogones y Bandera. The training will last 9 weeks, divided into different modules in which the 50 selected candidates from various regions of the country, mostly from Carúpano, will receive training in personal development, hygiene and food handling, types of cuts, mother sauces, nutrition, among others.

Eres la flor del cacao won Best Video at the Pepsi Music Awards

On October 27, the second episode of the 2020 Pepsi Music Awards digital awards took place, in which Eres la flor del cacao was the winner as Best Video in the Venezuelan Traditional Music category. This video is part of the Venezuela: El pueblo, el canto, el trabajo project,  which will soon be available on digital platforms, and it  invites, based on the tradition of Venezuelan songs, to work  more humanly and to be protagonists of the common good.

Chat forum to know the Telegram application

On October 28, the chat forum A world of possibilities was held by the Emprendedora de la Belleza (Beauty Entrepreneur) and graduate of the eighth cohort of the Belleza por un futuro  (Beauty for a Future) program, Darling Rendón.  The 144 participants from all over the world were able to learn about the competitive advantages of this application, and the majority of them were graduates from the organization. This gave entrepreneurs a new tool to elevate their business models.

Yanmary Carolina Vielma consolidates two ventures

The Emprendedora del Chocolate (Chocolate Entrepreneur), who graduated from the 2nd cohort of the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao program in Mérida, Yanmary Carolina Vielma, and  is also a Chemical Engineer recently graduated from ULA, has successfully consolidated two ventures. In the first (@vino_elencanto), the entrepreneur offers an exquisite fruit wine that she sells upon request. Her other business on Instagram (@dulcecarito1), is associated with confectionery and offers a variety of products for family parties such as cakes, cookies, and chocolates.

Janeth Rivera fuses her pastry and chocolate learning 

The Emprendedora del Chocolate, who graduated from the 1st cohort of the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao project in Petare, Janeth Rivera, has taken a step forward in her passion for pastry by graduating as a pastry chef in October. The training contributed to improving her knowledge and techniques such as chocolate decorations, mirror glazes for cold cakes, and pastry cream deviations.

María Josefína Fernández resumes her entrepreneurship by teaching courses

The graduate of the Emprendedoras del Chocolate program, which was carried out in partnership with CISOR, María Josefína Fernández, has resumed her entrepreneurship from Spain along with the members of @ocioteka. Currently, she gives courses to this team on the topics that she masters best: cooking and pastry. This month she shared what she learned in the Brookies chat forum, directed by Marisol Sanchez, also a graduate from  the Emprendedoras del Chocolate program.

María de los Ángeles De Posadas experiments with Mexican chocolate

The Emprendedora del Chocolate of the 3rd cohort of the INVECAPI program, María de los Ángeles De Posadas, who currently resides in Mexico City, was conducting bonbon tests with chocolate from the region. On October 3, she delivered her first order of bonbons, which were filled with blueberry ganache and hibiscus rose. The final presentation was in beautiful clear acrylic boxes.

Marian Rodríguez continues her  training

The graduate of the 1st cohort of Emprendedoras del Chocolate, within the framework of the Venezuela Tierra de Cacao project in Carúpano, Marian Rodríguez, has managed to continue her training with effort and dedication despite the current difficulties. The entrepreneur was selected and participated in the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs-Dream Builder 2020, which is endorsed by the US Embassy. With this online training, she learned how to perfect her entrepreneurship through various programs in the areas of economics and business development.

Milexi González: Help with chocolate flavor

The graduate of the 2nd cohort of Emprendedoras del Chocolate held at INVECAPI, Milexi González, participated in a fundraiser for a friend with breast cancer. She carried out this charity action with other 26 entrepreneurs and she had the opportunity to make chocolates filled with passion fruit, liquor, and brownies. All her products were successfully sold helping the noble cause.

Yilda Carrasquel: teacher and something else

The participant of Formación de Formadores (Training of Trainers), of the Belleza por un Futuro (Beauty for a Future) program, carried out in partnership with L’Oréal Venezuela, Yilda Carrasquel, has remained active in her trade. This Anzoátegui state resident teaches classes at CECAL, which belongs to Fe y Alegría Simón Rodríguez, in a face-to-face/ virtual hybrid modality with safety measures taken into account. Likewise, she works offering hairdressing services such as haircuts, drying, and balayage-style colorimetry techniques.

Bárbara Sojo begins cosmetic beauty courses

The Emprendedora de la Belleza, who graduated from the 7th cohort of the Belleza por un Futuro program, Bárbara Sojo, began teaching weekend courses at her premises for a maximum of one or two people, respecting the rules of hygiene and care. Among the contents taught are: Manicure, Pedicure, Enamel, Semi-permanent and Freehand Brushstroke. The duration of these courses is one week and the entrepreneur organizes them once a month.

Yesenia Díaz learns about eyebrow styling

The Emprendedora de la Belleza, who graduated from the 8th cohort of the Belleza por un Futuro program, Yesenia Díaz, took a course in October titled Eyebrow Styling, at the academy of her colleague, Tiffanni Moncada, who is also a graduate of the program.

Milangela Chiavel taught courses together with CECAL

The participant of Formación de Formadores, within the framework of the Belleza por un Futuro program, Milangela Chiavel, taught barbering and hairdressing courses together with CECAL, which belongs  to Fe y Alegría San Francisco de Asís. In the weeks of radical quarantine, she taught the contents in the form of a chat forum, and in the flexible weeks, she did it in person with no more than ten students to preserve the respective social distancing in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.