Chakipi Peru – Benedicta Sihorn Huaman, Chakipi Entrepreneur
26-year-old Benedicta Sihorn Huaman used to sell goods at a local market in the small town of Urubamba, one hour away from Cusco, Peru. The income she earned was barely enough to purchase nutritious foods to feed her family of six. A year and a half ago, she met Olga, a promotora* (coach) who works with Chakipi entrepreneurs in the region and also speaks Quechua, a local Andean dialect. Benedicta immediately felt comfortable around Olga and was drawn to the Chakipi model.
Benedicta enjoys the flexibility of being a Chakipi entrepreneur. She began by conducting door-to door sales until two months ago when she gave birth prematurely. She now primarily sells products from a storefront in her home. Working for Chakipi has significantly impacted Benedicta’s life. She is the proud mother of four who plays the role of caregiver, housekeeper, cook, and Chakipi entrepreneur. Her role is particularly important since her husband travels extensively for work.
“I value the teachings that I receive and the support that I feel. The community of women that I became part of through Chakipi makes me feel less alone.”
Since Chakipi helped increase her income she can now afford to purchase more meat and, in her words, feed her family more protein. Benedicta especially enjoys her “six steps to sales” training because “knowing things like this helps me make more sales to my clients.”
“Working with Olga has really changed my life because she explains things well instead of other distributors who just want to make a sale. Also, the products that I get from Chakipi cost less than what other distributors offer so this helps me make more money.”
Though faced with everyday challenges such as having to care for her children when they get sick and when her husband is away, Benedicta is a resilient woman filled with big dreams for herself and her family.
“I want all of my kids to study and never stop studying so that they are better off than me. My mom didn’t teach me anything besides how to take care of animals and would just send me off to play with sheep… Now my kids are able to tell me that soup with pasta and potatoes doesn’t have any nutrition! They teach me how to write better, correct my handwriting, and are already learning English. Now I want to keep learning so that I can teach my kids everything I didn’t know. Thinking that my kids will know more than me makes me happy.”
*Promotoras provide coaching, motivational and business training, and sales support to the Chakipi entrepreneurs. Promotoras closely work with the women to place product orders, place them in the Chakipi system, and make sure they are delivered in a timely manner.