Despite being different ages and coming from different families, Simiona, Santa, Isaura and Leona share an important similarity: they are mothers, striving to provide their families with a better quality of life.
They have something else in common—all four women have had to endure the deep-rooted discrimination, inequality and poverty that continue to burden indigenous women living in Guatemala.
As a result, they’ve struggled to meet their basic needs and pay school fees for their children. The cycle of poverty endures.
Together, Breaking the Cycle
In the last number of years, the mothers’ lives have transformed. They are looking to the future with confidence since joining a Presbyterian World Service & Development-supported group called United for Development.
As members of United for Development, local partners in Guatemala provide women with training and small loans to properly raise livestock, produce organic fertilizers and diversify crops to increase their yields. They receive instruction in proper hygiene, nutrition and the use of medicine. Women are learning how to read and write and start small businesses, empowering them to take control of their household income and allowing their self-esteem to flourish.
These dedicated mothers are now earning a steady income, enabling them to send their children to school, grow enough food to eat, buy clothes and secure other necessities for their homes.
This group helps Maya Mam women in another astonishing way. When they come together, feelings of shyness and uncertainty—a result of unequal treatment and discrimination—dissolve. In partnership and faith, they express themselves, learn from each other, offer advice and share stories of their trials and triumphs.
Although they each have a different story to tell, in partnership, these women find the strength to survive.
Simiona, Santa, Isaura and Leona share one other similarity: they are empowered, ambitious and on the way to transforming their lives and inspiring future generations of women to create positive change.
In the way that these women work together for a better tomorrow, we too are working together to create lasting change. With your support, PWS&D can continue to create brighter futures for indigenous women in Guatemala.