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Ashley Williams

2021 Fellow

CEO, Serigrafia De La Gringa, Sociedad Anonima

ashley williams
Guatemala City, Guatemala

Ashley is the Founder and CEO of Serigrafia de La Gringa and has thirteen years of experience working in Guatemalan prisons. She recently completed her law degree in Guatemala and is currently studying for the bar exam. Ashley founded Serigrafia de La Gringa in 2011 after living in La Limonada, a designated “Red Zone” in Guatemala City for its high levels of crime, violence and poverty. Ashley learned the Spanish language while living in the Limonada for three years. This led Ashley to discovering at only nineteen years old what justice looked like for this impoverished community. This knowledge is what motivated Ashley to visit prisons in Guatemala, where she discovered the solution to Guatemala’s rising violence rates through economic empowerment.

Serigrafia de la Gringa provides incarcerated people a viable alternative to economically-motivated crime: vocational training, dignified, well-paid work within prison walls and after release. Incarcerated people who are employed as screen printers or sewing machine operators by this social enterprise earn close to four times more than the average monthly profit from extortion. This project focuses specifically on providing economic opportunity to incarcerated people in four Guatemalan prisons. When incarcerated people can earn a reliable income, they reject crime and can provide critical financial resources towards food, housing, healthcare, school fees, and other necessary living expenses for their family and children, helping lift them out of poverty.

Serigrafia de La Gringa’s mission is to provide a dignified salary and quality of life for people currently and formerly incarcerated as well as to provide them with new opportunities and a new start. Upon their release, they help formerly incarcerated people who participated in their programs in prison find permanent jobs or place them in a position with one of their alliances. Ashley and Serigrafia de La Gringa aim to address recidivism, lower violence rates, provide opportunities for growth, and access to community and healthy secure spaces.

Ashley is a member of Global Shapers and Rotary International and also serves as the Vice President and CoFounder of C.O.R.E. – Centro de Rehabilitación y Reinserción.

What Ashley Hopes to gain from the VV GROW Fellowship:

Ashley hopes to see her business grow and impact more lives. She hopes to develop stronger business skills to help her grow her business and create positive change in Guatemala.

What Ashley can offer other fellows:

Ashley can offer her knowledge gained from 10 years of experience working with vulnerable and potentially violent populations to other VV Grow fellows.

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