Guatemala Women's Empowerment Project

Country: Guatemala

City/Town: Santo Tomas Milpas Altas

CarePoint: Edusi

People Impacted: 200 (100 households per year)

Total Cost: $56,270.58

Estimated time to complete: 12 months

Area of Transformation

Economic Development

Project Description

The women’s empowerment project has been designed to work with vulnerable women who want to grow. Most of the participants are single mothers (50% of the community are single mothers) and women who have been through trauma. Phase one consists of healing emotional wounds, reestablishing healthy beliefs, and building confidence to accomplish goals. Phase two is learning with hands-on training, obtaining useful skills in baking and making pastries.

The goal is to equip and train 100 women per year in the management of a pastry and bakery business. The program will also work toward psychological healing and increased self-esteem, including joining a community support group. The program aims to increase the number of female leaders within the community by 10% in a year, and ensure that 85% of the participants strengthen their skills in baking and pastries to become entrepreneurs.

Historical Background

The city has important industries for the economy and local development. Among the main sources of employment are food industry, metallurgy, construction, as well as exporting agricultural products (snow peas and blackberries), which are grown and packed for sale nationally and internationally. The rate of employment in the population of Santa Lucia Milpas Altas is 25.15%. Not all of the population has a job, and this is exacerbated by the low salaries of available work. In order to achieve the goal of gender and age equity, programs and projects must be implemented to generate new sources of employment.

In Guatemala there is a stigma that girls can only stay in the house and the men work. This becomes a greater issue when a woman’s husband leaves and she has to find a way to provide for their children. In 2014 the state of Sacatepéquez became the second state with the largest increase in official complaints regarding domestic violence. Additionally, almost 20% of all births in the state are adolescent girls, who then have the responsibility of an adult. Many times, the victim will not leave the aggressor, and women are afraid to leave and bare the entire responsibility of providing for their children. We are creating opportunities for these women to have access to vocational training in order to build independence. We are facilitating and opening spaces for women to heal their self-esteem. There is talent, they just cannot see it…yet.

Return on Investment Potential

Participating women will use their new skills to generate revenue, and the training provides them with access to decent work. Also, the revenue the women generate goes back to the community, creating opportunity for economic growth in the area.

Additional Impacts

Beyond economic development, this project increases the women’s self-esteem, instills young mothers with self-worth that is passed to their children, and creates a safe space for the women to encourage and support each other.

Volunteer and Travel Opportunities

Donors with experience in baking and making pastries, and/or expertise in self-esteem training could travel to the CarePoint and provide training to students or train the trainers. Donors can also attend the graduation ceremony for the project.

Engagement Opportunities

Donors can receive updates on the progress of the training/project.