Maykol & Jenny Hernandez
We are a newly married couple and as we start our journey together, we have decided to turn our focus outward, and to help as many people as we can. As ambassadors, we have a passion to share the cultural richness and traditions of Guatemala, the land of our heritage, beautifully expressed in each product our designers create and our artisans make.
From as early as I can remember, I saw the needs of less fortunate people first hand. Many indigenous Guatemalan ladies travelled 10 to 12 hours to the markets in Antigua to sell their handiwork. Some did not even make enough money to pay for a place to stay and they would sleep on the streets, we were able to help them by offering a place to stay. My parents have always been a good example of giving generously and helping others.
Also, my mom has always had a passion for native Guatemalan arts and crafts. I inherited that same passion from her! Since little, I eagerly save my small household earnings to buy Guatemalan goods, handmade works of art that take many months to weave. Shopping for these items was like a treasure hunt for me and my sister!
Since 2014 I've been privileged to work with indigenous children. Also, I traveled to many different villages as a volunteer translator for foreign missionary teams. Though very needy in a material sense, they are quick to smile and laugh to share their joy when meeting new people.
With every trip I became more and more determined to do something to help these lovely people. They are just barely surviving, without access to clean water, energy, and most importantly of all, a fair price for their hard work as artisans.
We believe it is possible to break the generational poverty cycle by promoting awareness of their artistic talents and amazing hand skills. WOLA is the result.
Growing up as a middle child in a family of nine, my desire was always to make a difference by helping and serving others.
At a young age I brought the idea to my mother that I wanted to leave my family, my country and culture to pursue my dreams and study in the USA. As a missionary kid, with my parents running a orphanage it seemed impossible. With the support of many sponsors and donors, I was able to go into a private school in Guatemala getting an American curriculum that opened the doors to pursue a college degree here in the USA.
Michigan became my new home, and I had to make a lot of adjustments, specially coming from a third world country, now living in a farm. My host family became my new family, walking me trough the journey of accomplishing my college degree at Michigan State University with an Agricultural degree. Today I help farmers grow more food in an environmental manner, working with the latest technology.
Now my desire is to give back to my country, by helping my people by providing opportunities for them to grow and achieve their dreams as once I had other people supporting me to achieve mine. I want to be a voice of change by bringing their talents here and creating the opportunities there.