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.
Oct 16, 2015

Top of the Class: Setting High Standards for Girls

Milvia leads the Independence Day parade.
Milvia leads the Independence Day parade.

The United States Agency for International Development reports that Guatemalan children on average attend only four years of school and only three out of ten students graduate from sixth grade. Less than 20% of all Guatemalans graduate from high school. But amid these disappointing statistics there are shining stars, young girls who are achieving academic success despite the odds. Take for instance Milvia.

Milvia is a hardworking student who, one day, wants to become a teacher.  She strives to do her best in school.  She gets good grades and has exemplary behavior.  Her teachers credit her with being a role model for her classmates. When Milvia is having trouble in a subject, she seeks out extra help at MayaWorks' Rosa Moya tutoring center. There, she receives additional support and resources so that she doesn't fall behind in her subjects.

Milvia's ambition to excel also inspires her parents to work harder so they can provide her more opportunities. Both parents are weavers and use the income they earn making MayaWorks products to send Milvia and her siblings to school.  Milvia's parents are extremely proud of her and encourage her to continue to excel in school.

MayaWorks Cross Generational program is designed to give parents a hand-up so they can support their children in realizing their full potential.  Providing ongoing work for artisans assures families will have the income to keep their children in school.

Links:

Jul 14, 2015

Scholarship Recipients are High Achievers and Avid Footballers

Youngest scholarship recipients are the most shy
Youngest scholarship recipients are the most shy

On a recent visit to our artisan partners, I had the pleasure of spending a morning visiting MayaWorks' scholarship recipients in the small village of Agua Caliente in the central highlands of Guatemala.

It's always a pleasure to see the girls.  At first, they are shy and reticient when I meet with them in the classroom.  On this day, I brought them pencils with a little sweet attached.  We chatted about school and what their favorite subjects were and about the subjects they struggle with.  We also talked about what they want to be when they grow up.  So many want to be teachers, others want to be lawyers and still others want to be doctors.  

These girls could be anything they want to be.  They are smart and hardworking and most of them are attaining a B average in the coursework.  Those that struggle academically are bolstered by their classmates who help them through peer tutoring and just plain old positive encouragement.

The girls became less bashful through our conversation and, before I knew it, one by one they came forward to offer me their piece of candy.  They know I love the mango candies! Their generosity touches me; what little they have, they give to others because it pleases them.

Their tutor suggested we go outside and play a pick-up game of soccer.  If these girls are quiet and demure in the classroom, they are boisterous and aggressive on the pitch.  Within seconds they had teams picked out and organized onto the field.  Much to my chagrin, I landed on a team!  We had a great time laughing and playing and the girls were such good sports about my thorough lack of ball skills.

Before I knew it, it was time for me to go to my next appointment.  Parting is such sweet sorrow; the girls are sad to see me go and I'm sad to leave them.  I promise to come visit on my next trip bearing gifts of soccer balls!

Thank you for supporting our cross generational program. Your donations allow us to provide tutoring services in the communities we serve.  Together, working along side the girls' mothers, we can assure they will have a bright future.

Let the game begin!
Let the game begin!
Girls cheering on the gringa
Girls cheering on the gringa's attempt to play

Links:

Jul 14, 2015

New Microcredit Projects are Underway in Comalapa

Lili stands by her foot loom
Lili stands by her foot loom

New loans totaling $2,400 were awarded to four enterprising women in the San Juan Comalapa area.  Two of the loans have been used to plant potato and pea crops.  Growing vegetables for export is a good income generating project that generally results in good profits for the women if the weather cooperates.  So far this season, the weather has been good and these projects are off to a good start.

MayaWorks also awarded a loan to an artisan who makes huipiles to sell to women in her community.  Huipiles are the traditional woven shirts that Maya women wear everyday.  Generally, women weave their own hipiles, but if they work outside the home, they often no longer have the time to weave their clothes. Lili, a master weaver, makes huipiles to her customers' specifications.  Lili requested a loan to purchase a loom and thread to make the blouses which she sells at a profit.

The last loan was used to purchase a dairy cow.  Arcadia, who already has a few dairy cows, is expanding her business to keep up with demand.  The need for milk has increased beyond her immediate community.  She now travels to surrounding communities to sell her milk.  It quickly became evident that she needed another cow!  She was awarded $665 to purchase a new milking cow.

Thank you so much for supporting MayaWorks' micro-loan projects!  With just a hand up, women are able to achieve their goals of a steady income.

Happy Arcadia
Happy Arcadia

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.