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Social Programs Yabal


Social Programs

All profits and donations are used to fund social programs with a focus on women's empowerment for our artisan communities in Guatemala!

There are many obstacles that exist for women and rural communities in Guatemala; illiteracy, lack of education, little-to-no business knowledge, and a lack of job opportunities. Many families survive on less than $100 a month, especially in the region of Nahuala where we work and women have even less opportunities than men.

In addition to fair trade job opportunities, Yabal supports the women and communities that we work with through various social and economic projects. All profits from sales are reinvested into social programs for the artisan communities with whom we collaborate.

Women's Small Business Training Program

Yabal offers women's entrepreneurship workshops each month. Each workshop focuses on a new skill for developing a business within their own communities that they can manage from home. Workshop themes have included piñata-making, soap-making, bread and cookie-making, jelly-making, crochet, hair-cutting, small business budgeting workshops, business cost-calculation, and new product development.

Professional Development

For the women seamstresses of Yabal, we offer on-going certification courses in advanced tailoring themes so they may continue their professional development and mastery of their craft. This year, we also offered our women seamstresses a sewing machine repair course. For youth in the communities of Pacutama and Chuicutama, we periodically offer basic tailoring classes so they can learn a trade as an option for employment in the future. After last year's tailoring course, we have since incorporated one of the young men into our local sewing team.

Micro-credit Program

For over 8 years now, Yabal has provided yearly micro-credits to over 30 families in the communities of Pacutama and Chuicutama. With this money, the families have started small sustainable businesses and are able to rent or buy farmland for vegetable cultivation.

New Mothers' Fund

In 2015, Yabal began our New Mothers Fund to offer pregnant women weavers the equivalent of a maternity leave. During the last month of a woman's pregnancy and the first two months after she gives birth, it is a risk to her and her baby's health for her to continue weaving due to the pressure placed on her waist by the back-strap loom. However, the lack of income during these three months can place economic stress on her and her family- especially as she prepares for a new child. To minimize the temptation to continue weaving at risk to the woman's or baby's health, Y'abal pays expecting and new mothers the equivalent of 3 months’ pay as if she had continued weaving during this time period. Our commitment to fair trade and sustainable fashion includes caring for the women weavers and the families we work with.

Educational Scholarships

In 2016 we began our educational scholarship program for children of the women weavers. Yabal gives educational scholarships to gifted youth each year so that they can attend middle school and high school. This money helps cover the costs of transportation to and from school, school uniforms and supplies, tuition, and inscription fees. We also use donations to fund textbook donations to rural schools in our partner communities.

Our women weavers dream of giving their kids something that they never had- an education. The women and their families understand that an education will be able to give their children better options for the future. Sadly, because of the prohibitive costs of education for rural communities in Guatemala, many families are not able to send all of their children to school. In some cases, they only have the resources for one, if any, of their children to finish high school and the others are only able to complete 6th grade. Because of this, Yabal uses funds to invest in education and help these families provide a better, more sustainable, future for the next generation.

Food Security Programs

In order to increase access to fresh food, Yabal also focuses on improving food security for families in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. Many families in our rural partner communities lack farmland in order to produce their own food. Because of this challenge, Yabal focuses on projects that allow families to produce food in limited spaces. This last year, Yabal created family vegetable gardens, started a oyster mushroom cultivation project, and planted fruit trees. Each year we assess the needs of the communities in order to guide our food security programs.

Thank You!

With Your Purchase

You increase the opportunities and quality of life for women in the Western Highlands of Guatemala