Cynthia Rodríguez

She is an engineer that bet on social inclusion; thanks to her, disabled young people realised that they can make their dreams come true and improve their quality of life.

“We not only have an impact on young people, but we are also raising awareness among companies with an inclusive heart. We are changing people’s minds”

And like her, you have seen other girls and boys evolve.

Absolutely. Last year, David ⸺who is 29 and works in the kitchen⸺ almost gives his poor mom a heart attack; she was worried sick because she could not find him anywhere. What had happened? After work, the guys went to some grilled chicken restaurant to celebrate Friendship Day, and he forgot to text his mother to let her know.

Now they hang out, they treat themselves, they do things they had never done before. It is important for them to taste independence as the adults they are. Now they can support their families, contribute to the household economy.

It is evident that these years of effort and sacrifice have been worth it.

Absolutely. We not only have an impact on young people, but with our participation in workshops, we are also raising public awareness, we are reaching companies with an inclusive heart. We are changing people’s minds.

That is why you keep doing what you do.

Yes. And more professionals have joined, like Carlos Sánchez Ramirez, who is in charge of marketing and advertising. He has made us see that it is not enough to be a social business, that we have to become the best pasty makers in the country.

Because you do not want people to buy out of pity or just to support, but because your products are good.

Exactly! We are opening up to new business ideas, such as catering, through alliances with companies that see Empanacombi as an opportunity to reaffirm their corporate social responsibility policies.

By doing this, you have changed your lifestyle. Two and a half years later, do you have a salary?

Let's say I do (laughs)... It is not a stable or competitive salary, but sales are improving. This year is going well thanks to the strategies we have adopted, because otherwise we would have had to close.

What’s the best thing about doing this?

You should come and have breakfast at our place to see the unity there is. There are girls and boys with retardation, hearing impairment, Down syndrome... Seeing how different they are now from how they were at the beginning, how they have grown, how they are developing, that is the best part!