- Grants and
- Events and
The indigenous women artisans served by grantee Mercado Global have a rich history and culture of weaving, but lack access to resources and a viable market, making it impossible to earn a living from their traditional talents. These women have endured extreme poverty, brutal events during the almost forty year Guatemalan Civil War, discrimination, and a lack of economic and educational opportunities. Forty-eight percent of the rural indigenous population lives in extreme poverty, earning an average of $1.25 or less per day. As a result, Guatemala has the fourth highest rate of chronic malnutrition in the world.
By accessing technical training and business development support from Mercado Global, artisans can build up their skills and earn an income by fulfilling orders for their products with major international retailers such as Anthropologie, Nordstrom, and Target. Skills developed during training sessions also support women in revenue-earning activities beyond their partnership with Mercado Global. Business development support empowers women to become entrepreneurs, guiding them through the process of creating community businesses. This allows them to increase their income within domestic markets and have access to sustainable revenue sources.
Artisans who partner with Mercado Global can earn up to three times the average daily rural Guatemalan wage. With an increase in income, data shows that women are able to make important investments in improved nutrition, education, personal savings, and sanitation. Surveys also show that artisans make their children’s education their first priority, with 99 percent of their children currently enrolled in school.
This project will help Mercado Global reach their year one goal of training 150 new artisans, which is part of a three-year scaling campaign to work with 1,000 additional artisans.