Before the war, Dona Catarina Matom lived peacefully with her two daughters and husband in Nebaj,
But escalating violence and war soon spread to her village. Soldiers brutally plundered homes and then
set them ablaze. Escaping violence, Dona and her family fled to the mountains—where they faced
disease, sickness, cold and extreme hunger.
After weeks of hiding, they relocated to Caba Chajul, Guatemala. “We were chased by soldiers, we
always tried to hide. There were constant bombings. My daughter Rosa was good and healthy but one day
I can not remember which, a bomb fell near my daughter Rosa and now she is currently deaf,” said Dona.
In Caba Chajul, Dona’s husband was captured by soldiers. She struggled to raise her daughters on her
own, constantly worrying about how to provide them with food. Often, they were forced to subsist off a
meager diet of wilted herbs and plants.
But Dona no longer has to worry about how she will feed her children. Now, she has the essential skills
and resources to provide for her family, thanks to your support through GlobalGiving’s Sustainable
Chicken Farm for Guatemalan Women project.
MADRE works with Muixil, a community based organization of Indigenous Ixil women in
Guatemala. Together, MADRE and Muixil created Farming for the Future, a collective income-
generating project that provides the Ixil women living in poverty with economic independence
and food security and empowers them to demand their political rights.
When the sustainable chicken farming project began in 2007, Muixil and MADRE were
able to provide 30 women with chickens, but over the years the project has increased
substantially. Over the past year, at least 48 women (16 from each of the three communities)
have participated in and benefited from the chicken project. Additionally, the sustainable chicken
farms have provided food security, better nutrition, and a means of generating small amounts of
income for the families involved.
“Before, I was very poor and scared, I never spoke…But Muixil accepted me and I participate in
trainings, meetings and now participate in the community and I have no fear. I know I have the same
rights as men. I received the support from MUIXIL and I thank all the women who help us in other
countries far away,” said Dona.