What do mushrooms and weaving have in common?
They’re both great income-generating projects for women in Guatemala! And projects that Yabal supports in our Guatemalan artisan communities.
While we’ve had our Yabal weaving brand for over 10 years now, oyster mushroom cultivation is a newer project.
The mission of Yabal is to support the economic independence of rural Mayan women in Guatemala. For us, our fair trade textile brand is a big part of fulfilling this mission- but it’s not the whole pie. Healthy communities need to have a healthy diversity of small businesses that depend on both foreign and local markets. We use our non-profit to support women as business leaders in their communities and teach them new skills which they can use in order to start their own enterprises; and thus increase family income and food security for their families.
Oyster mushroom cultivation is one such project. Mushrooms grow well in the cold and humid region of Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan and can be grown without taking up much space- important as our artisan families do not own farmland and depend on the limited patio space around their homes for any food cultivation. Oyster mushrooms are also nutritious and important for improving health and diet in rural communities. Finally, oyster mushrooms are in demand locally and offer a good profit on the local market.
So taking all these great benefits into account, we started our first crop of mushrooms this month with our group of 40 women in the communities of Pacutama and Chuicutama. Will keep you updated as the project (and mushrooms) grow! Check out photos below from our first mushroom training workshop: