Gabriel Silva - Jewelry Artisan
"My name is Gabriel Silva Zambrano, I was born in a village near Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala. I have more than 48 years of experience crafting jewelry.
"When I was 17 I began working as an intern for the biggest jewelry shop in Antigua Guatemala at the time, where I learned everything related to crafting jade and silver jewelry. After working there for five years, the company started struggling and making cutbacks and I was laid off. I found work as a mechanic, but I wanted to use the skills I had learned in the jewelry shop, so after a year, I opened my own shop in Antigua.
"I struggled to keep up with the costs of maintaining the shop, so I closed it and decided to work from home, where I've been working every since.
"My job allows me to provide my family with food, education and housing. I employ two workers who have become part of my family. Together we create beautiful pieces of jewelry and we support each other and our families in getting ahead."
"I do not have a physical store were we sell our jewelery. Instead, we sell our jewelry by visiting local markets around the country. Fortunately, after many years in the market, buyers have come to recognise the quality and passion that I put into each piece."
"Nowadays, however, surviving in this business has become more difficult due to the increase in competition, especially from jewelry products that are not handcrafted and are made with lesser quality materials."
"We are happy to be part of Gemma Box because we are able to reach new customers worldwide and continue to have more work"