Vilma teaching how to use reusable menstrual pads
Entrepreneurship and secondary income generating projects are more important now than ever before. As our community members continue to face the many challenges that COVID-19 brings, the most poignant of these is the financial crisis that the pandemic has thrust upon the rural Santiago Atitlan community. As such, Pueblo a Pueblo’s Sustainable Livelihoods projects have been offering community members hope for rebuilding some of the financial losses they have experienced during the past year.
All of our project teams, Beekeeping, Youth Leaders, and Women Entrepreneurs, have been hard at work over the past few months, in hopes that in person markets and opportunities to sell their products will be open again soon.
Beekeeping teams in both San Pablo and Santiago Atitlan have been harvesting honey over the past two months, and have been able to bottle their harvests for sales. In Santiago Atitlan, the team is currently undergoing some expansion, and hoping to add five more members in the next few weeks. Senior Beekeeping Technician Genaro Simalaj has been meeting with and interviewing potential new members to ensure that the team continues as a strong, cohesive group.
Youth leaders have been sharpening their entrepreneurial skills via online workshops with Project Coordinator Hony Julajuj. Just a few weeks ago, the youth leaders of San Martin met online to discuss the qualities of a good leader, community enterprise, the challenges of small businesses, and getting out of one’s comfort zone. Despite some technical challenges, Hony says that the youth leaders learned a lot, and were excited to be able to connect!
In the coming months, the team is going to receive training on how to raise egg laying chickens, and will hopefully begin caring for their own chickens soon after. Their goal is to start an egg selling business, and with the support of Pueblo a Pueblo and local experts, we are sure that when it is safe to do so, their business will be up and running!
Finally, our Women Entrepreneurs have been continuing their work with Days for Girls Guatemala, and most recently, have been sewing the storage bags for menstrual hygiene kits. Our Women's Right to Health Program Manager Vilma Mendoza just recently held a workshop for ADISA, a local organization working to defend the rights of people with disabilities. The workshop covered topics such as menstrual hygiene, calculating and tracking the menstrual cycle, and using the Days for Girls reusable menstrual hygiene products sewn by our Women Entrepreneurs.
Although each of our Sustainable Livelihoods project teams has faced many challenges over the past year, we are very proud that they have continued to learn more about entrepreneurship, and work diligently on their projects. Pueblo a Pueblo is grateful for your continued support of our aspiring entrepreneurs, and we hope that 2021 will continue to bring more opportunities for growth!
Vilma handing out soap for menstrual hygiene