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.
Jan 15, 2016

Microloan Support Makes for Successful Projects

Marta in her potato field with loan supervisors.
Marta in her potato field with loan supervisors.

If you want to know how to run a successful microcredit project, go see Marta.  Marta always runs a solid project. She choses her activities wisely. She clearly understands her expenses and outlines her goals and is always eager to learn more.

She grows crops for the export market where she can earn more money. Vegetables such as potatos, green beans and strawberries yield good profits.  Marta consistently produces results and pays her loans back on time.  

Her success can largely be attibuted to the support she receives from the moment she applies for a loan.  Marta went through a series of trainings to increase the likelihood her projects will be fruitful. In addition, she receives periodic visits by loan supervisors who are available to help her work through challenges and make recommendations to improve project outcomes.

She is a terrific role model for other women who want to coordinate a successful microcredit project.

Links:

Oct 16, 2015

Microloans In Villages of the Central Highlands of Guatemala

Micro-loans are used to expand weaving businesses.
Micro-loans are used to expand weaving businesses.

MayaWorks microcredit program exists to help women who have limited access to traditional economic outlets become successful small community entrepreneurs through the management of income generating projects.

With the help of MayaWorks staff members, artisans complete a  loan application that includes a simple business plan. If the project promises to generate income beyond the artisans' expenses, the loan will be approved and funds are disbursed within a few days after an initial training session.  During the course of their project, artisans receive periodic site visits by the Program Coordinator to evaluate how the project is progressing. If an artisan is experiencing difficulty with the project, she will receive technical support from staff members and will be visited more often. Artisans also attend periodic trainings to expand their skills and improve their projects.

Artisans have used microloans to purchase nutritional supplements to sell in their community, build a small lumber mill, and purchase dairy cows to provide milk for their village.  By far, though, the most popular income generating projects are weaving and planting cash crops. Currently, there are 14 micro-loan projects being mananged by MayaWorks artisan partners.

 

Micro-loans are used to plant cash crops.
Micro-loans are used to plant cash crops.

Links:

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:

 
   

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