A little bakery in Mexico creating change
At the age of 12, Jesus – or Chucho, as he’s known to friends – received support from Hñañhu Batsi, ChildFund Mexico’s local partner organisation in his community in Mexico.
Today, he is paying the same kindness forward.
As an adult, Chuco returned to live in his family’s village after immigrating to the United States when he was 15. When he returned he wanted to give back to his community so he started to work with teens through Hñañhu Batsi.
“I was looking out for the kids to help bring out their character, and teaching them teamwork,” Chucho says. But he wanted to take his support one step further.
Chucho wanted to open a business, which would help him realise what he calls his “Mexican Dream!”
With other young people in his community, Chucho decided to figure out what the needs of the community were. They realised that there were no bakeries in their area. So that’s how the Nheki Bakery was born.
Nheki means “me too” in Chucho’s native language, Hñañhu. “At first I wanted to name the bakery ‘I undertake,'” Chucho says, “but there is no translation of this word to Hñañhu, so I named it Nheki: ‘I want, I can, me too!'”
The bakery has been open for almost a year. So far business is going well for Chucho, so much so he and his colleagues are considering opening more bakeries in the region.
Chucho has trained and employed local people to work in his bakery. They also use ingredients sourced from the area, which is helping the local economy.
“We make doughnuts, biscuits, bread, buns and other pastries that are sweetened with agave honey produced in the community,” says Chucho. “The yeast and jams also are made locally.”
ChildFund Mexico is now a trading partner, buying bread from the Nheki Bakery for children enrolled in the Early Childhood Development programs in the area.
Chucho realised that there was work to be done in his community, and with a lot of effort and sweat, he’s learnt there always ways to create opportunities!