MayaWorks

MayaWorks' mission is to empower low-income indigenous women to end their cycle of poverty and improve their lives. MayaWorks trains artisans to transform their traditional weaving skills into a means of financial support for their families. Volunteers in the U.S. sell artisan products creating a market for the traditional arts of Maya women. This collaboration creates an opportunity for Maya women to achieve economic security and for North American women to participate in economic justice.
Dec 30, 2014

Update on Maria Arcadia's Livestock Project

Maria Arcadia
Maria Arcadia

Earlier this year we reported on Maria Arcadia's livestock project.  We told you how she expanded her livestock to sell more milk to her commmuunity. We're very happy to report that Maria Arcadia is now selling milk and cheese to neighboring communities!

Maria Arcadia lives in a very remote village where there are no local corner stores. Everyday she and her husband load up their pick-up truck with milk and cheese and travel to the surrounding hamlets to sell to other small communities that lack access to stores where they can purchase fresh dairy products. Not only does Maria Arcadia provide an important service to folks who lack resources but she also earns an income that allows her to provide for her four children and her grandchildren.  It's a win-win for everyone!

Maria Arcadia is a leader in her community.  She's smart, hardworking and a role model for other women in her small village.  She is also grateful for the opportunities that she has been given that have allowed her to improve her standard of living and that of her family.

Links:

Dec 29, 2014

Meet Josefa Rosalinda: Chess Whiz

Josefa with her chess trophies
Josefa with her chess trophies

Josefa Rosalinda is a hard working young lady who, despite many obstacles, has achieved prestigious awards in her community, Santiago Atitlán.  

Josefa's mother is a MayaWorks artisan partner who weaves clerical stoles and makes beaded jewelry. She works hard to provide for her family as a single mother but often has set-backs due to uncontrolled diabetes.  Her shining light is Josefa.  When Josefa isn't studying hard to achieve an A average in school, you can find her studying a chessboard. She's the reigning chess champ in her community and has been selected to represent her department in the national championship.

Josefa loves to read and dreams of becoming a lawyer when she grows up. Josefa wants to give her mother and younger siblings a better life and she knows she can do that through education and personal achievement.  MayaWorks will be rooting for her at the National Chess Championship!

Links:

Sep 29, 2014

Beautiful Tapestries Created from Microcredit Loans

Juana models one of her huipiles.
Juana models one of her huipiles.

Last year Juana applied for a microcredit loan to purchase thread to weave huipiles for the local market.  Huipiles are the beautiful hand woven shirts indigenous Maya women wear.  They are woven on a backstrap loom and can take months to complete depending on their complexity. Juana also used the thread to weave table linens for the tourist market around Lake Atitlán.

Her $400 loan allowed her to purchase enough thread to get started with some commissioned huipiles.  It also allowed her to purchase some old weaving equipment that desperately needed to be replaced.

On a recent visit to her home, she proudly showed off her hand woven items.  She was most proud of her thread supply which she keeps locked up because she says her granddaughters like to help themselves to her thread!  

We're proud to say that Juana just paid off her loan.  She continues to weave huipiles for other women and hopes to spread her business into neighboring villages.  We have no doubt she will apply for another loan when she is ready to expand her business.

Juana prepares the threads for the loom.
Juana prepares the threads for the loom.
Juana keeps her investment under lock and key.
Juana keeps her investment under lock and key.

Links:

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $12
    give
  • $30
    give
  • $75
    give
  • $225
    give
  • $12
    each month
    give
  • $30
    each month
    give
  • $75
    each month
    give
  • $225
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of MayaWorks

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about MayaWorks on GreatNonProfits.org.