Healthcare is a human right, but it's not accessible in rural Guatemala -particularly for indigenous women. That's why we're working with our town's hospital to offer free medical care to Cojolya's 30 artisans. Through this partnership, we ensure our artisans can continue supporting their families at the loom and maintain our cultural textiles for future generations. With your support, we can further empower Maya women in their pursuit of fair wages, academic opportunities, and, now, healthcare.
To receive significant healthcare, members of our rural community have to go to private medical centers, which, due to the economic hardships indigenous families face, doesn't become a priority until someone is gravely ill. In many cases, seeking medical treatment is left until it is too late. The women that are part of Cojolya's Association range from 18 to 75 years old. Because they have been weaving since they were very young, they tend to struggle with arthritis, eyesight, and muscular pain.
Cojolya artisans would have the opportunity to access medical care, which is a human right. In addition, they would be able to live longer, work doing something they like, and continue to be able to put food on their tables with the fair trade income that they earn from Cojolya. Artisans have worked at our association since the '80s, would help the women feel more comfortable and confident seeking care. Lastly, they would raise community awareness about the importance of tending to one's health.
As Maya Tz'utujil women, we want to have the equal rights we are systemically denied. Artisans form part of the 80% of indigenous Guatemalan women who are informal workers, which means no access to a social social safety net. By providing healthcare, we will improve our artisans' quality of life and offer an indigenous empowerment model for other artisan associations. We don't only want to live resiliently as we always have due to disenfranchisement. We want to thrive. Health is a first step.