Many have asked about how Humble Hilo came to be, so we thought we’d start by telling you a little bit about who we are and why we are doing what we are doing.
Several years ago, I had the eye opening and life changing opportunity to live in the remote villages in the Alta Verapaz region of Guatemala for several months while working on my Master's Thesis with the World Health Organization in the area of Maternal and Child health. I fell in love with the people and the country as I lived and worked among them. Never have I been more humbled and completely heartbroken as I saw first hand the daily challenges that these sweet villagers face just to survive. I spent my days hiking from one remote village to the next, measuring and weighing malnourished infants and children, while also working with their desperate and hopeless mothers to try to come up with any solutions to their dire situations. I would spend my nights sleeping on the exam tables or dirt floors of health posts, my pillow wet with tears and my heart aching for what I had witness that day. I can’t tell you how many times I held malnourished babies that didn’t live to see the next day, how many mothers I worked with that didn’t have a way to provide for their 6-10 hungry children at home while their husband were living in other parts of Guatemala trying to find work, and how many of these villagers were stuck in a cycle of poverty with no way out and not hope. I knew I had to help. I kept thinking “IF PEOPLE ONLY KNEW.”
Needless to say, this was a life-changer for me and redirected what I wanted to do with my life. I have now been working endlessly in behalf of these villagers of Alta Verapaz and others living throughout Guatemala for the past 7 years trying to create awareness of the desperate needs and raise funds to help create opportunities to help them out of poverty… I have worked with several NGOs throughout Guatemala and I currently volunteer as the Director of World Link Partners trying to help create awareness, raise funds, and provide opportunity for these people (particularly women and children) in so much need. But I always knew there was something more that needed to be done to create more awareness.
This led us to the beginnings of Humble Hilo… My husband and I have teamed up with our dear friends to make this happen, one of whom spent part of his childhood growing up in Latin America and has worked in the retail marketing business for over 7 years, and the other who is a current small business owner in the shoe industry. Sharing a passion for the Latin American culture and a desire to create opportunity and change for people in need, we knew immediately we wanted to do more than just be a retail shop. We wanted to make a difference-Humble Hilo (hilo means thread in Spanish) was born.
Humble Hilo not only brings beautiful handmade and unique Guatemalan textiles to you, but we are also creating opportunities and changing lives. By buying our products, you are not only supporting families in need of employment, but a portion of EVERY item you buy will go back to directly benefit those in great need by supporting projects. YOU get to choose to support projects in child nutrition, education and literacy for women, and microfinance loans for women to start their own small business to help break the cycle of poverty and help create opportunities for themselves, their families, and their communities. The effects of what you are helping us do through your support are endless…
We are confident that change is possible, and we hope that through your support and awareness, you can be a part of helping to change the lives of Guatemalan people in great need. We are excited to share this journey that is Humble Hilo, with you. We look forward to your comments, feedback and suggestions and creating a common thread with you. Mil Gracias.