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History of New Life Cards


It all began back in October of 2005 when Maria Rivera Perez, an entrepreneur from AcTxumbal ("La Pista"), Guatemala, teamed up with CE Solutions to start a recycled paper business. Maria learned how to break down and recycle waste paper that would otherwise be thrown away into handsomely crafted cards when she participated in a project with a local youth group and two Peace Corps Volunteers. With a great deal of practice and persistence, she worked with us to turn her hobby into the business, New Life Cards, using her earnings to continue her high school studies in accounting as well as to help ease some of her family's financial burdens.

Maria comes from a community called AcTxumbal, which is a Maya Ixil word that means "New Life." This community of roughly 2,000 people was created by the Guatemalan army as a "forced" refugee camp during the early 1980's at the height of the 36-year civil war. It is located in the western highlands region of Guatemala, approximately a seven-hour drive from Guatemala City. The majority of AcTxumbal's inhabitants, as well as Maria's family, practice subsistence farming and struggle to make a living. It has been Maria's hard work with the card-making that has breathed "new life" into the region's paper waste, and has given her the opportunity to begin to make a "new life" for herself and her family.

mariatrainingBeaming with the excitement of her own self-made success, Maria collaborated with us to help train other women in paper-making craftwork throughout Guatemala, and now New Life Cards proudly boasts a team of six utterly talented artisans, each with her own story, her own creative style, and her own hope for her "new life" that she pours into the cards she makes. Click here to meet the rest of our team.Ladies


Community Enterprise Solutions is working with Maria, Julia, Nancy, Tania, Angelica and Gloria to make this a sustainable business that can grow and change and flourish as the women do in the lives they're making for themselves. We hope you'll support us in this blossoming venture.

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