The Substance of Hope

The pop tab is a simple thing, one that many of us discard without a second thought, but through Moda Esperanza, the simple pop tab is changing lives.

Women and single mothers, many of whom are orphans themselves, are empowered by earning a fair wage, while still being able to care for their children, by turning recycled pop tabs into beautiful purses, belts, bracelets and other fashionable accessories.

Collaboration between these women and local Chicago charities began in 2009. The charities include the Ronald McDonald House Charities - Chicago/Northwest Indiana Chapter (RMHC-CNI) and Footprints Foundation.

RMHC-CNI improves the health, well-being and education of children through various programs. One of their main objectives is to keep families together as their children face severe medical challenges.

Footprints Foundation supports a variety of social causes including empowering impoverished women in the U.S. and abroad.

Every person who buys an Esperanza product contributes to the advancement of women and families and environmental sustainability in both the U.S. and Honduras.

Creative Women of the World does business training and market distribution for women around the world who are rising out of poverty, human trafficking or disaster through the power of their own creativity. In April, 2016 CWOW trained Moda leaders and other community business women with their asset based business curriculum. After that empowering and inspiring experience, a new partnership was formed. CWOW is now the exclusive distributor of Moda Esperanza handmade products through their website and boutique in Fort Wayne, Indiana. You may shop the beautiful products you have come to know and love at goCWOW.org.

The profits made from the sales of these products are 100% recycled into helping others soar with hope. Moda Esperanza has empowered 36 motivated women in Honduras.


Our Founders

Felicita Gutierrez Maldonado

I started with this project in January 2009 with the inspiration and support of Mrs. Lisa Weinberger, with the purpose to benefit many people, mostly housewives and single mothers who care for their children. I think this initiative is very important because it allows many women to earn an income from home so they can continue to care for their children. I thank God because we have successfully trained many women who are very satisfied with this initiative.

Felicita Guitierrez Maldonado
Moda Esperanza, Co-Founder

Lisa Weinberger

After many years in corporate life, and as a former special education teacher, I had yearned to apply my skills to help people from underserved communities, both domestically and internationally.  I visited Honduras several times, and met an extraordinary young woman, Felicita Gutierrez Maldonado. We talked of how many women in her country, including those with special needs, require vocational skills, and how desperate they are to earn money so that they can take care of their basic needs.  

In 2009 I brought her some pop tabs, yarn, and crochet hooks and a prototype of a pop tab purse to see if she knew anyone who had crochet experience.  To my delight, she was a master at this craft.  She made a few dozen purses which I brought back to the U.S.  Everywhere I go people stop me to ask where they can get one.

It is so exciting to see this idea grow beyond our wildest imaginations.  Together we dreamed of how we could help the maximum number of people possible, and it’s now turning into a reality.

We always wanted this to be a charitable endeavor; so we hatched a pay-it-forward concept.  This initiative empowers women in Honduras, as they earn a fair wage and are able to provide for themselves and their families.  As more of their products sell, additional people from this Central American country can work in their homeland and at the same time support the missions of several U.S. charities.  It’s a great example of the Chinese proverb, “Give a (wo)man a fish and (s)he will eat for a day. Teach a (wo)man to fish and (s)he will eat for the rest of (her)his life”.

We look forward to seeing how far the “Power of the Pop Tab” can go in giving hope to others, and in helping them reach their potential.

Lisa Weinberger
Moda Esperanza, Co-Founder