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.
May 16, 2013

Access to Education is Precarious in Guatemala

Girls attend the Rosa Moya tutoring center
Girls attend the Rosa Moya tutoring center

MayaWorks believes, to overcome poverty, it is vital to educate girls which is why we provide daughters of artisans scholarships to help defray the cost of school attendance. Although education in Guatemala is free, parents must pay a registration fee, purchase school supplies and cover transportation expenses to get their children back and forth to school. In many of the communities where MayaWorks operates, children cannot attend school beyond the sixth grade because there are no junior high or high school facilities. The scholarship that MayaWorks helps overcome these barriers.

MayaWorks also works with local schools to set-up tutoring centers in the village so children have access to much needed academic support services within their communities.  Children attend one of five tutoring centers where they get help with their homework, receive extra support in their weak subject areas and have a safe place to meet up with like-minded students who want to excel in school.

MayaWorks has set goals for its scholarship recipients.  They must maintain a C average in their classes and attend tutoring sessions regularly.  It is our hope that MayaWorks scholarship recipients will continuously surpass Guatemala's high school graduation rate of 17%.  Currently, MayaWorks scholarship recipients are graduating from high school at a rate of 36%.

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Mar 26, 2013

Raising Chickens is a Perfect Micro-credit Project for this Young Mother

Hilda and daughter
Hilda and daughter

Thanks to a MayaWorks micro-credit loan, Hilda Roquel's chicken project is going very well.  Hilda requested a small loan to buy baby chicks that she will care for until they are ready to be sold in the market.  She says it's a great project because it allows her to stay at home with her young daughter who is just two years old.  Mother and daughter together look after the chicks who require a lot of attention!  Hilda sees her micro-credit loan as a jumping off point.  With the money she earns from selling the chickens, she will re-invest it in her small business to buy more chicks.  

Hilda has been fortunate to attend school up to age 18.  Her mother is a MayaWorks artisan partner.  With the income she earned, she was able to send Hilda to school starting at the age of six.  Hilda also contributed to her studies by working in her aunt and uncle's store.  With her small earnings, she helped pay for school supplies.

Hilda is 100% committed to her daughter's education.  She hopes to see her baby girl graduate college some day!


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Feb 7, 2013

MayaWorks Leads Trip to Guatemala for U.S. Weavers

Kippot crocheters of San Marcos La Laguna
Kippot crocheters of San Marcos La Laguna

A group of 13 Jewish weavers and others from the U.S. who are interested in Fair Trade and women's economic development just returned from a trip to Guatemala to meet with artisan partners who craft Judaica products. This trip was sponsored by MayaWorks and two other organizations involved in Fair Trade, Fair Trade Judaica and Mayan Hands. The purpose of the journey was to create an awareness within the Jewish community that Jewish values directly align with the principles of Fair Trade. For 10 days tourists visited our artisan partners in the central highlands of Guatemala. They met with kippot crocheters, tallitot weavers and mezzuzot beaders. This interchange was a great experience for our partners because they were afforded the opportunity to meet the people who buy the products they craft. The artisans received their guests with open arms and shared with them how crafting Judaica products has improved their lives and that of their families. We hope that the Fair Trade Judaica journey will be an annual trip to raise awareness of fair trade within the Jewish community.

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