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'Grateful for the chances I get'
The Salvadoran Yancy Ramírez combines studies and working on her parents' coffee plantation with her own shop. 'My cooperative offers me opportunities that other people don't get.'
Growing up in El Salvador is not easy. Many parents do not have enough money to send their children to university. Therefore most young people find it hard to find work, in a restricted labour market.
Role model for young entrepreneurs
'I'm been very lucky that things have turned out different for me', explains the 21-year-old Yancy Ramírez, who was selected by Adel Morazán as a role model for young entrepreneurs three years ago. Adel Morazán supports 2,600 family farmers and entrepreneurs in the east of El Salvador and has been a Trias partner for many years.
'In the last few years, in my role as ambassador, I've met many people and discovered new cultures. These experiences have given me more self-confidence. In the past I was frightened off by tough challenges, but today I'm ready to fight for my dreams. It's my job to awaken this spirit among other young people', says Yancy.
Passion for coffee
Every week, Yancy has to struggle to fit everything in to her agenda. She goes to night school and also studies at the weekend. On Sundays, Yancy works in her shop for the whole day. But she spends the lion's share of her time on her parents' farm, where she harvests coffee at 1200m above sea level. Yancy has also joined the local coffee cooperative from San Simón.
Coffee is my passion, Yancy explains. In 2017, she started selling ground coffee, together with five members of her family. 'What is very special about our coffee is that it's 100 per cent the work of women from the Cacahuatique region', adds Yancy. The brand is called Sonias Café, named after Yancy's mother.
Over the years, Yancy has grown in her role as ambassador. 'The leadership training courses from Trias and Youca have played a defining role. I now feel strong enough to speak in front of big groups. I've also given workshops to share my personal experiences with young people who are just as entrepreneurial as I am but haven't been given the same opportunities. I find these sessions very informative and they give me a lot of satisfaction. I'm so grateful for the chances that I get.'
Yancy has not been too badly affected by the corona crisis. 'Granted, coffee production and sales have ground to a halt, and given my unstable internet connection I'm not sure how I can follow my school's online classes. But thanks to the training I have done, I feel strong enough to overcome this crisis, with time. While I'm in quarantine, I'm spending most of my time caring for my dad, who was recently injured in an accident. This is unfortunate of course, but it's fortunate that it happened now, when I have so much more time on my hands.'