Guatemala Housing Alliance works to empower women and instill in them an entrepreneurial spirit through our women's artisan program. Made up of mostly single mothers, the group works to make intricate bracelets and other products using beads. The objective of this program is not only to give the women sufficient funds to provide for their families, but also to show them financial and personal independence.
Indigenous women in the Guatemalan highlands suffer greatly from a lack of economic opportunities. In rural indigenous villages, most of the work is seasonal agricultural labor--usually limited to men. Being a single mother is hard in a place like this, which is why GHA has worked to help these women organize and take charge of their own beading cooperative. Beading is these women's only way to support their family, but conditions in their isolated village can sometimes make it hard to work.
GHA works hard to empower women and give them economic freedom in a society where men are traditionally the breadwinners. Getting these women the supplies they need gives them the power to make bracelets more efficiently, increasing their earning power. By purchasing solar powered lamps and adding to their fund for transportation and materials, each woman will be better able to support her children and master a trade that can bring them financial stability for years.
This project will maximize the earning power of five single mothers by improving their working conditions. They will gain a sense of pride at being able to singlehandedly provide for their families as indigenous women and empower their daughters to do the same. The fact that these lamps are solar powered and ecologically sustainable will keep electricity bills low and set an example for bringing sustainable practices into other cooperatives in the area.