Today, Marcelino runs a silkscreen printing workshop on the outskirts of Estelí, a neighborhood where most of his neighbors are also former SOS youths.
Marcelino Ramirez with his family. Photo by Ingvild Gjone Lyberg
Now thirty-seven years old, Marcelino remembers joining the SOS Children's Village Estelí at the age of four: "Although my parents couldn't take care of me, it was very nice to join an SOS Children's Village, with Hermann Gmeiner's philosophy." He fondly remembers his childhood. He is grateful for his experience at SOS Children’s Villages Estelí, and remains in contact with his SOS Mother, Marta.
Marcelino's graphic arts interest began in kindergarten, when he found a few rubber figures that looked like stamps. "I was intrigued by the fact that the figures were the other way around, but if you printed something, the image would appear correctly. I consider this as the beginning of my career in the graphic arts business," he laughs. "Although I liked to draw, I never imagined that thirty years later I would have an important career in graphic arts, and that I would be supporting my family, and twenty other people, with it."
During a trip to Panama, President Kutin learned about Marcelino's case. He was very impressed by Marcelino's hard work and decided to buy him a stamping machine. This generous gift allowed Marcelino to open his silkscreen business in 1991.
At the beginning, Marcelino and his wife, Kenya, converted their house into a workshop in order to get the business off the ground. "That first machine was on one corner, while on the opposite side we had our bed, a kitchen and living room," he adds. Once his business became successful, Marcelino was able to buy a large house near his workshop.
Marcelino named his business Multigraph Printing--"Multi" to recognize the efforts of multiple people working with him, and "graph" because his company works with graphics. "Multigraph Printing is a craft graphic arts business," Marcelino proudly explains. "Craftsmanship work is highly appreciated by many companies. You know, to reproduce graphically, it is necessary to make huge investments in equipment, which also reduces the number of employees and increases the costs. Some of the people who started the business with me are still here, and I hope to continue this way." Most of Marcelino's employees are former SOS youths.
Little by little Marcelino's business has grown. His company now offers more than 100 products. In 1998, he received a loan from SOS Children's Villages to buy computer equipment that helped Marcelino modernize his designs. "Thank God, I could pay the loan already, but I am deeply grateful for the support," Marcelino says.
Marcelino is proud of his many achievements, including the many awards he has won and the important company that he started. He eventually plans to expand his workshop and hire more employees. Marcelino is very grateful for the support he has received from his family and his employees. He is especially grateful to his wife and thanks her for spending fifteen years by his side. He is hopeful that his two sons will eventually take over his business.