Catching Up With Maria Landa

Catching Up With Maria Landa

Publication info


On October, 18, 2013, we caught up with Maria Landa, who with CARE's help owns three successful businesses in Peru. We asked her a few questions as a follow up to Rosie the Riveter Would Be Proud of Maria Ester Landa, which tells the story of how Maria and her sister Elvira started a successful welding and metal scaffolding business after taking a CARE welding course as teenagers.

Q: What would you like to continue to achieve for women?

Looking ahead at the future for women in Peru. There is a high mortality rate in pregnancy. CARE works in places like Ayacucho, one of the worst place to be a pregnant woman, for example. We know that we can reduce the rate of mortality. This change is very important - for me and for my country. And we can see in the statistics and the studies that CARE is helping mothers live. CARE helps women change their reality.

If you invest in children and young people it pays off, too. When young people can improve themselves before they have a family, though development projects and training like the ones CARE implements, they can make their lives and their children's lives better.

I am very happy to see how CARE improves women's lives in many countries. And am glad to have this opportunity to talk to you again and say thank you for that!

Q: How do you serve as a role model to younger people?

First, our mission is to make a good business that can be sustained over time. Our company moves the economy in a district, in a community. Since the beginning, our dream has been to generate employment for young people like us. Our employees are very close to us and they see how people - women - can build a company. They learn in a real environment that it's not so difficult really; it’s possible for them to start a business, too. And we're making a difference.

Q: How many employees do you have now, and how many have you employed total?

We have 10 employees. Over all my years in business, we have employed maybe 40 young people. When they're hired, I tell them we want young people who want to learn and want to improve. I think we provide this kind of example for them. Today, many of these young people have gone on to open their own businesses that boost the local economy. In turn, more companies want to locate in our area. I am happy they're able to earn a living and support their families here - and I still get to see them.

Keep learning:

Maria Landa of Santa Maria Industries and Brian Feagans of CARE.  On October 18th, 2013, CARE USA celebrated its 20th Anniversary of its move from New York City to Atlanta, GA.  Atlanta has served as CARE's headquarters ever since, continuing its poverty-fighting work worldwide.  City and government representatives, along with representatives of CARE's partners were in attendance.  The event featured local and international performers, artwork by girls from several countries that benefit from CARE's work, and remarks from various speakers, including CARE's President and CEO Dr. Helene Gayle.