Sol is an 11-year-old girl who is sweet, intelligent, and incredibly artistic. When she was young, her mother was no longer able to care for her and her older sister, Reyna. Her grandparents stepped into the role of caregivers and love them dearly. Sol’s grandparents work hard to raise her and her sister and provide for their critical needs. Their house is inside the cemetery in Verbena on the side where there are no graves, and their income comes from selling flowers and floral arrangements for the graves. They also work to keep the cemetery and toilet rentals clean for those who are visiting their deceased loved ones.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Verbena cemetery was one of the main cemeteries for people who died from coronavirus, so the cemetery was completely closed and entry to people was restricted. Sol’s grandparents no longer had any income; the only support they received was from AMBI CarePoint, which was providing monthly food support for families.
Sol has been coming to AMBI CarePoint for six years now and CarePoint staff noticed her creativity immediately! She excels in activities like drawing, coloring, lettering, and crafts. In addition to being artistic, she is also independent and resilient. Since Sol has been a little girl, she has learned to be strong. She knows that she needs to fight and be ambitious to succeed in life.
After experiencing the loss of income in their home, Sol started brainstorming with her grandmother. They found a way to start a business and make delicious “Ice Cream.” Sol and Reyna discovered they could sell the ice cream at the entrance of the cemetery and to neighbors near the community. To begin with, Sol made the flavors strawberry, pineapple, and chocolate.
As some activities opened and government restrictions were lifted, more people were coming out of their homes. Sol’s business was doing well and she added another flavor to her ice cream — coconut! As time went on, Sol ingeniously made jell-o as well. Now, not only selling ice cream but also bubble gum, strawberry, pineapple, grape, and lemon flavored jell-o. All ice creams and jell-o are sold for one Quetzal, which is more or less 12 cents in USD.
Currently, Sol continues selling ice cream, because her grandparents’ income is still very low, given that the activities in the Verbena cemetery have not yet been fully opened.
Sol and her sister have been selling ice cream for more than a year now. At the moment they earn back the costs to continue making more ice cream and also add an income to their home. These sisters have managed to make, maintain, and sell their ice cream and jell-o to all the people who visit the cemetery, those who pass in front of the cemetery, and neighbors in the community.
What a good idea, don’t you think? Who wouldn’t stop for a delicious ice cream? They continue to dream of providing an income for their home and exploring what else they can come up with.