Yvette Guerrier is one of the first artisans who began working at REBUILD in August of 2010. She has been a full-time member of the crew since the beginning, and it’s impossible to imagine the workshop without Yvette’s wicked humor but also her calm, friendly presence. Her sense of style and confidence always brightens up the workshop.
Before the earthquake, Yvette owned her own shop selling rice, beans and cooking ingredients. Combined with her husband’s salary, they made enough to get by, but they were often low on funds by the end of the month. Yvette says she succeeded in supporting her family at that time only because of her hard work, much of it overtime.
After the earthquake, Yvette’s shop and home completely collapsed. She was forced to live in a tent and began searching for work. Always one to find opportunities to help, she volunteered at an orphanage with Jolina’s women’s group when they both met Julie, and was part of the first group of artisans that began REBUILD.
Yvette says her situation has completely changed from four years ago – she now rents her own home and pays for her children to continue their education. She says she no longer has to worry about money because of her salary, which allows her to support her teenage children. Yvette is also a first-time grandmother with a three-month old granddaughter.
Yvette says her favorite part of working at REBUILD is that she can present a pair of sandals and say “I made those – and I’m proud of my work.” When asked what she would say if she saw someone wearing REBUILD sandals, she would explain how proud she is that the sales are supporting REBUILD’s community. Yvette is interested in sales, and wants to begin training and working towards a sales position while continuing her artisan work.