Hello I am Lorena Candelaria Marcillo Salazar. I was born in San Ramón- Tosagua, 30 years ago. My birthday is January 02. Since my birth, I have lived in the San Ramon community. I didn’t finish elementary school, because my parents didn’t have the money to support me. I would like to go back to school and continue studying.

I joined in a free union, when I was 18 years old, with José Ramón Hidalgo Loor. He was born in San Ramón too. He is 4 years older than me. We have five children. I became a mother for the first time at 19 years old. I didn’t have the opportunity to obtain a contraceptive method or to plan my family. After my last son, I decided to use a contraceptive method. I think it affects me, because I suffer frequent migraines.

My husband has always worked to support our family, and since I became involved in the Macramé Project, I am able to help him. The family income is made up of my husband’s monthly salary of 160 USD and 160 USD from my macramé production. This money is used to buy food and take care our children’s health. They often suffer with stomach pains and strange flues. We also pay debts that we incurred to invest in agriculture. Due to flooding, we lost the investment.

We don’t have our own piece of land, nor do we own a house. So my husband’s sister lends us her house. If she decides she wants her house back, we won’t have a place to live. The house that I live in is a cane structure. It was damaged because of flooding. We don’t have running water, so I have to buy water from close wells or collect rain water. We don’t have a sewerage system or electricity.

If we want to grow something, we ask for money from informal money lenders and rent a piece of land that costs 140 USD. It is not for sure that we will get the products, because last year we lost the crops due to the droughts, and this year we lost the crops due to the floods.

My husband works on farms located so far from San Ramon that he has to walk like 2 hours to get there, and he gets back so late. The work he does in agricultural labor is hard, and he uses a lot of pesticides without protection. I feel bad about this because he can get sick, but we don’t have any opportunities to do different work.

I have to wake up every day at 4:00 a.m. to prepare my husband’s breakfast. When he goes, I start to work on my macramé bracelets, then I prepare my children to go to school, and then do housework. In the afternoons, I usually go to a macramé course at the San Ramon Basic Needs Center.

I have been a part of the Macramé Project for 2 years. I decided to participate because I considerer the Macramé Project to be an opportunity to create beautiful handcrafts and earn money. I would like to continue with this project because it helps me, helps my family, and helps the community of San Ramon to have a better life.

I enjoy creating new designs while I’m in my hammock. This place inspires me, and I can create new designs. If I could have one wish, it would be to have my own house.

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