This Thursday is International Women’s Day, and we are kicking off the week by highlighting some incredible women in Guatemala who call themselves “Mujeres Emprendedoras,” or Entrepreneur Women. They are innovative, hardworking, supportive of each other and are an amazing example for their children. At the Puerto Abajo CarePoint in Guatemala, these 20-or-so women-all mothers of children at the CarePoint-are learning how to make jam and hot sauce to sell in the community.
The Jam and Hot Sauce Project started with the guidance of the municipality of Puerta Abajo. The mayor wanted to offer opportunities for mothers to develop life skills, and to help them generate an income for their families.
Ismael and Mayra (Puerta Abajo CarePoint leaders) have developed a good relationship with the mayor of the town. Because the mayor is aware of the efforts Mayra and Ismael are doing to transform the community, he asked them to help him in the development of this initiative. For this reason, Mayra and Ismael opened the doors of the CarePoint for these mothers to use the kitchen to make the jam and hot sauce. The municipality also implemented a trainer who helps the ladies to sell their products.
The mothers are currently making strawberry, blackberry and pineapple jam, and they recently started doing green hot sauce. The mothers attended a course for a month to learn how to make the product and to understand some business practices to start selling the final product. The mothers gather once a week to prepare the products.
They decided to run this project as a committee to delegate some responsibilities. Currently, Judith is the president and she is the one who supervise the process. Judith has four children, and two of them are involved in the sponsorship program at Puerta Abajo.
These are Judith’s words on how much it has meant for her to be involved in this project:
“This project is a great opportunity to grow personally without having to travel out of our village. There are a lot of mothers in this community who do not know how to write or read, whose husbands don’t let them work. For them, this project has become a way to learn a skill and to bring some money home. In this project, we have learned to support each other and to encourage each other to work hard to achieve our dreams. With this experience, we are teaching our children how important is to be diligent and to work hard to change our lives and to not rely on drugs or gangs to strive in life.”
Mónica, is also another active participant of this project. She is married and has one daughter. She says, “Being part of this project is a huge blessing because I can work and my daughter can come with me.”
The women have even designed their own beautiful label for their jams. This project has made a huge change in each of their homes, and their business continues to be successful as they gain more customers and increase sales!