Stories of Hard Work and Achievement
Eduardo Sandoval


A family united thanks to wooden handcrafts.

Six years ago Eduardo Sandoval decided to give his life a radical turnaround; at 62 he had spent half his existence working for one company and the long working day had not left him time to enjoy family life.

Since he was a boy, Eduardo had always had a natural flair for manual jobs. He began sculpting stone at 14 and at 17 set up a workshop for artistic locksmith pieces. A health problem, together with his wish to spend more time with his wife and four children, led him to recover that skill from his youth and explore the possibility of spending his days as a craftsman in wood to support his family. “One day, when we didn’t have money for food, I decided to make decorative figures to sell. The first thing I made, to see whether I still had it in me to make something was a spoon, and it came out well”, he recalls. So he brought his family together to tell them that the family’s future was in crafts: “You know, from now on, we are not going to go hungry any more”.

He finds being a craftsman in wood enormously satisfying. Every morning he decides and makes the figures that his wife and eldest son sell from the itinerant sales spot they set up at one or other strategic position in the city. He also receives orders for pieces, because his work is becoming more famous in the neighborhood. To add to the family’s income they organize raffles where the prize is one of his beautiful carved figures.

Eduardo and María’s craftsmanship work allows them to spend more time together, because the whole family takes part and it brings them together when they have to deal with adverse situations affecting the family group. As well as keeping his business going they have had to overcome their two children's mental illness. The couple feel happy and proud of what they have achieved thanks to the business which has given them a living.

At a crafts fair in which she was working, María had the chance to learn about the work of Emprende from an officer at the institution. It was the first time she had ever asked for credit and they decided to start with an initial loan of USD 200 to buy wood materials. Other loans at different times and for different needs followed this one, for enlarging and improving the business. The latest loan is for USD 500.

A craft that started as a teenage hobby has become part of his life and an income for the whole family. “Every morning I stand at my worktop and make the piece I want to, with no pressure. Because I am doing something I like, and it is a therapy for the whole family. To achieve this in a job, even if it is out of necessity, is priceless” concludes Eduardo.