Due to the partnership between CARE Guatemala and the Southern University Center (CUNSUR), 97 female leaders from the departments of Escuintla, Retalhuleu, and Suchitepéquez have been endorsed to train women on economic empowerment.
This training program allowed leaders to gain access to specialized knowledge and market spaces, such as departmental competitiveness councils, allowing them to strengthen their business networks.
As a result of this process, they replicated the training they received in the organizations where each of them participated, thus developing a first generation with over 380 women trained.
Francisca López, a member of the Women’s Association for Development (ASODEM), says that “at first the women were scared, because they are negatively labeled for joining the project, however, as time went by and as they learned about their rights, they were getting more and more engaged”.
Each organization analyzed the different business opportunities within their own communities, and generated individual or collective business plans.
Lilian López —coordinator of CARE’s Identity and Rights program, created for indigenous and mixed-raced girls, teenagers, and grown women— presented the strategy for the economic empowerment of indigenous and rural women on the South Coast, during which she mentioned that the process had only been possible thanks to the tireless work of women, and that it should be kept updated according to their needs.
Lastly, Lilian Mendizábal, director of CUNSUR, announced that the training will remain open to all women, as a free course offered in the university extension.
CARE Guatemala thanks each of the participating women, from the academia and the public institutions involved, for their tireless commitment to women’s rights.