The indigenous Mayan families in the highlands of Xeabaj II, Santa Catarina live with high levels of poverty and extreme poverty. Positive steady changes have cometo their lives through the training and economic development initiatives provided by ADAM over the years. The women established their own agricultural production, organic worm compost, grain storage silos, and raised steers for sale. The women, who had never before had a bank account, learned to manage the economic initiatives, keep bank records, and track profits.
Beyond these tangible accomplishments, another important change has come about from the women´s ability to define their own needs, and seek support. One such example is their education. 34 previously illiterate women learned basic reading and writing skills, and 9 received their 6th grade diploma. As the women’s knowledge grew, so did their goals. They advocated for and received technical training in managing rotating funds and making hygiene products, such as soaps and shampoos.
Their advocacy led to other successes. They raised funds from the municipality to build a new community centre, and with European Union funds, built an irrigation system for their vegetable gardens. The women feel more empowered with their successes and continue working to improve their lives and that of their families!