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.
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:

Apr 3, 2015

MayaWorks Disburses 92 Scholarships

A scholarship recipient from San Juan Comalapa
A scholarship recipient from San Juan Comalapa

In February MayaWorks disbursed scholarships to 92 deserving young girls in six central highland communities of Guatemala.  MayaWorks provides scholarships to the daughters of its artisan partners who are actively attending school and are achieving at least a C average in their coursework.  

In total, there were 51 elementary scholarships, 27 junior high scholarships; and 14 high school school scholarships awarded. MayaWorks provides partial scholarships.  With the income earned from weaving MayaWoks products, mothers contribute the rest of the money needed for their daughters to attend school.

Mothers are always very grateful for the help they receive from MayaWorks and are pleased to be able to contribute to their daughters' education.  Across the board mothers say they want their daughters to have more opportunities than they were given.  Many of the mothers did not attend school beyond third grade.  Some have never attended school and do not know how to read or write but they will do everything they can to make sure their daughters complete their education through high school.

A mother signs her daughter
A mother signs her daughter's scholarship receipt.
Mothers
Mothers' gift of gratitude for MayaWorks

Links:

Apr 3, 2015

Mother and Daughter Plant Carrots for the Export Market with a Microcredit Loan

Visitors admire Santos and Cristina
Visitors admire Santos and Cristina's carrot crop.

Santos and Cristina live on their own.  They weave products for MayaWorks and supplement their income by cultivating crops. The mother and daughter team recently took out a microcredit loan to purchase seed to plant a carrot field. These carrots are being grown for the export market where the sale of the crop will result in a nice profit for the pair. Crops are excellent projects if the weather cooperates.  So far this season, the weather has been perfect for growing deliciously sweet carrots.

Santos and Cristina were pleased to show off their microcredit project to a group of North American visitors this past February!  The tourists were impressed with the size of the carrots.  Santos showed her appreciation by pulling carrots directly from the ground and peeling them for her visitors to eat by the side of the field. Carrots never tasted so fresh!

Eating freshly harvested carrots.
Eating freshly harvested carrots.

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