2013 began with the implementation of the newly revised and improved training guide for girls and adolescents. The Abriendo Oportunidades training guides and training of trainer strategy continue to be the only ones tailored specifically for rural Mayan girls. We are very proud of this new version! Mentors and leaders participated in selecting relevant themes and activities while deciding what topics should be addressed together. From them we confirmed that providing income generating opportunities is critical to reducing gender-based violence. Youth leaders have begun implementing the new curriculum.
Some Abriendo Oportunidades clubs have begun co-ed activities that aim at changing gender dynamics at the community level. With the support of Peace Corps, boys now meet to learn themes like self-esteem, communication skills, and rights. While girls will continue to be the principal focus of our program, our pilot work with boys will help us propose culturally-appropriate strategies to improve gender relations in rural areas.
This February and March Abriendo Oportunidades will participate in the staging of the Vagina Monologues. This will be the second year in which some monologues are done in Maya languages. The Monologues are an opportunity to raise some funds for unforeseen situations such as supporting girls in emergencies, or adding new girl leaders to our program. If you are in Guatemala in February or March, please check our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/#!/abriendoguate for dates and places.
Finally, we would like to thank everyone who donated during the Girl Effect Challenge! Funds raised will help us cover sports, gardening and training activities. Youth leaders will also be able to receive stipends to cover the cost of continuing their education.
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Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala,