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“It is about a search, too, for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor; in short, for a sort of life rather than a Monday through Friday sort of dying.”


“If one day I am not here, if I have left, and gone somewhere else, it will be an honor to say I was part of a tree that was able to blossom and grow fruit and continue to give fruit.”

Seeking more social and economic stability, Bianca Sanchez left Mexico for the U.S. to find work, leaving her infant son behind with her mother. More than a decade later, her now teenaged son has come to live with her, and she is the founding member of TeamWorks, a cleaning cooperative that provides her and other immigrant women the chance to be part of a worker-run and democratically controlled company. For Bianca, building the co-op continues to be a hard-fought pathway to financial security and to freedom: “I say sacrifice, because we work a lot—from Monday to Saturday. It doesn’t matter if they are long hours and days of work, what we want is that we get the fruits of our labor; that this continues to grow.”

While Bianca continues to clean the homes of clients, she also spends three days on recruitment, training, coaching, evaluation, and operations management for the cooperative. “Sometimes it is difficult to accept that I have this role, because they (the workers) believe more in me than I believe in myself, but slowly I am being able to see that I can do this and that there is much more that we can do.” As the company expands with a landscaping branch, she adds that, “sometimes it is too much to view all of the greatness that we have done with just a little bit of investment, and for me it is a grand dream to know that this will continue to help people. We have done so much with so little.”