Daniel Mina

Sales Assistant and Receptionist, Ecuador Office, WE

Reflecting on his experience at WE, Daniel said, I had an incredible time working with WE.For me, it was wonderful to be part of this meaningful work to grow together with an indigenous community.

It was a great experience working with the international volunteers and sharing with them the work we do in Ecuador. I myself also enjoyed the learning experience in the jungle with the communities. Working in “la tienda,” I also got to know more about the products that the indigenous communities made. The fact that they were all natural, beautiful and creating no harm to the environment brought me great pride when selling them.

People who I worked with in WE all have a great heart. They are not there just for the work, but are all there with a willingness to help. Everyone works together for the good of the communities.

Thinking back on the impact he saw while working with WE, Daniel said,

As an assistant to the store manager, I had the opportunity to visit the communities where WE has its projects. The visits were to learn more about the artisan production by the community groups and, thus, share this information with the volunteers.

During these visits, I was able to talk to many of these artisans. We talked about various topics, but what I liked the most was listening to the impact that WE projects had on their lives, their families and their communities.

Once, the youngest artisan shared that, thanks to the training she received from WE, she was able produce artesian products and improve her family’s income. As a result, she could continue her studies in high school and, hopefully, her university studies too.

In addition, most of these women shared that being part of this artisan group has helped their families financially and, therefore, they were able to provide better food, health and education for their children.

This benefit is not only in economical terms, but it is also emotional. The women of these communities feel happier because they can share with the people in their community, learn and support their family.

WE projects in the Ecuadorian Amazon have been of great benefit to the people of these places. For example, the water filter system gave people access to clean water, so they won’t have to drink the polluted water from the Napo River anymore. WE also helped construct schools and health centers, which were previously not available in these rural communities. The communities’ lives improved in a holistic manner.

Looking back on what he’s most proud of, Daniel noted,

As I worked at “la tienda,” what brought me most pride was when I was able to sell a lot of the products. During that time, I organized the shop and the selling system. The volunteers were so happy about the experience that they ended up purchasing a lot of these ethical products, hence bringing a lot of income that could in turn benefit the local communities.

In the past, the women group only provided artisan products to the shop every few months. However, when I was there, the products were sold so quickly that we had to ask for their products every month. It was not the earned income that made me most proud, but the extra work, hence extra income, that I was able to help provide to these women in the Amazon area.

Thinking on what has changed during his time at WE, Daniel said,

My time at WE definitely helped me grow as a person. It gave me a new perspective on how my work could positively impact other people in need. I realized that having a meaningful purpose in my work place can be very important also.

Prior to joining WE, I didn’t feel very confident speaking in public, but since the job at “la tienda” required a lot of public presentation, that experience helped me to gain much confidence in public speaking. My time at WE helped me grow personally and professionally.

Reflecting on the most memorable impact of his work, Daniel said, A good relationship with others is something I treasure. Having a close friendship with the artisan groups was one of the highlights of my time in WE. It was a privilege to be able to get to know these women of the Amazon, to listen to their problems, and gave them advice (though they may be small). These friendships and bonding created positive impacts in their lives as well as in mine.

Furthermore, I was also happy to bring a positive energy to my co-workers. I felt I brought a positive impact to my work environment by being kind to others, and sometimes by simply offering a big smile.

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