​​3 Guatemalan Organizations Supporting Women

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The life of a Guatemalan woman can be very difficult at times. Faced with numerous obstacles to overcome, it is hard for women to get ahead. Thankfully, nonprofit organizations have tremendously helped women all over Guatemala. These women’s empowerment nonprofits have provided resources and tools that enable women and girls to lead more healthy, independent lives. 

Guatemala still has many challenges impeding women such as; high levels of poverty, illiteracy, and inequality. However, the country has made great strides in these areas and has strived towards the empowerment of millions of women. Yes, Guatemala still has a way to go, but many women have hugely benefitted thanks to various nonprofit organizations in the country. 

Overview of Women’s Rights and Situation in Guatemala  

In Guatemala, more than 60% of women live in poverty. ⅔ of the population live on less than $2 a day. Due to widespread poverty, almost half of the population cannot afford a basic food basket to meet their basic needs. The malnutrition and poverty in Guatemala affect almost half of all children because the lack of nutritious food leads to stunting. Along with poverty and malnutrition, almost 25% of the population is illiterate. The average woman attends school for 4.1 years. To top things off, Guatemala is one of the most gender unequal countries in all of Latin America. It has become commonplace for Guatemalan women to see or hear of other women being sexually assaulted.

Guatemala poor housing
An example of structures many Guatemalan women call home

Unfortunately, all of these disparities negatively affect women at a disproportionate rate compared to men in Guatemala. Due to malnutrition of children at an early age, young girls cannot grow and develop correctly. This follows them into adulthood. Poor literacy and education rates also inhibit women from getting better-paying jobs and keeps them dependent on others. In addition, Guatemalan women are seen as less than men and many victims of sexual assault and violence. These cases are often not looked into or investigated, perpetuating this abusive cycle in the country. 

How Nonprofit Organizations Support Guatemalan Women

Despite the many negatives that affect women in Guatemala, there are numerous women’s empowerment nonprofits in Guatemala. These Guatemalan NGOs have responded with great compassion and efficacy and have helped Guatemalan women flourish and become empowered. Out of all of these brilliant Guatemalan charities, Pionero Philanthropy would like to highlight threewomen’s empowerment nonprofit partners that are very notable. 

Highlight Nonprofit Partner: SERniña

This women and girls empowerment organization was founded in 2015 in partnership with the REALgirl Foundation and has already helped many young girls all over Guatemala. SERniña provides transformative weekly workshops dedicated to empowerment and gender equity over 500 youth living in poverty in Guatemala.

Through SERniña’s programs, youth develop the knowledge, skills, and courage they need to make informed life choices and reach their highest potential. All programs run in partnership with local schools and organizations in some of Guatemala’s most marginalized and at-risk communities.

SERniña’s curriculum fosters the development of self-esteem, personal agency, social-emotional development, human rights advocacy, violence prevention, leadership, and activism. An innovative component of SERniña’s work in the inclusion of boys and men through positive masculinity workshops.

The nonprofit aims to eliminate gender inequality and aspires to help young girls grow into strong independent women. As a result, Serniña hopes that Guatemalan girls can draw upon their strong educational foundation to make
informed decisions that foster self-love, independence, and empowerment.

SERniña enables young girls to pave their own way and sets them up to have a future full of possibilities. 

Girls with hands up
SERniña gives young girls the tools they need to thrive in the classroom.
Source: Serniña

Highlight Nonprofit Partner: Women’s Justice Initiative

This Women’s Rights Nonprofit Organization was founded in 2011 and, since conception, has helped thousands of indigenous women and girls.  The Women’s Justice Initiative (WJI) works with rural, indigenous Maya women and girls. This is one of the most marginalized groups in Guatemala. 75% of the indigenous population lives in poverty, 60% of indigenous women drop out of school before age 15, and 40% of indigenous women are married before age 18. The nonprofit saw these disparities and created different initiatives to help clear some of the obstacles these women face. WJI provides free, bilingual legal services and ensures that all women have equal access to justice.The

Women’s Justice Initiative also has legal literacy courses that empower women by teaching them about their rights and how to protect themselves. Additional programs aim to change local norms about childhood marriage. This is done by engaging young girls and educating them about their rights and working with parents and community members to delay early marriage. Finally, WJI offers an intensive advocacy program that trains indigenous women to become leaders, rights educators, and catalysts of positive change in their community.

Line of Women Thumbs Up
Women’s Justice Initiative offers community advocate programs that turn women into positive leaders for their community.
Source: WJI website.

Highlight Nonprofit Partner: Creamos

This innovative women’s empowerment nonprofit has been active since 2008 and specifically helps women around Guatemala City’s garbage dump. To be able to provide for their families in the face of immense system barriers, these women have historically risked their lives to work in the dump and survived by salvaging garbage to resell, often making less than $3 USD a day 

This amount of money is usually not enough to support these women’s families. 

Creamos helps these Guatemalan women in three main ways. Firstly, they provide these women a safe and respectful place to work. In this environment, women can feel proud of their occupation and also make a livable wage. Women can either work in sewing or jewelry and the products are sold on their website.

Guatemala Garbage Dump
This is Guatemala’s Garbage Dump in Guatemala City.

Next, Creamos offers psychological support to Guatemala City’s garbage dump community. In this community, 90% of women have experienced some sort of trauma, making mental health initiatives invaluable. These services are led by psychologists that assist women with their mental health by offering individual and group therapy.

Lastly, Creamos offers adult education programs. These programs are flexible and accommodating to the women enrolled, who were forced to drop out of school as children and have taken the initiative to resume their studies. 

Woman smiling at sewing machine
Creamos offers dignified employment opportunities that enable women to earn a livable wage. Source: Creamos website.

How to Support Guatemalan Women’s Empowerment Nonprofits 

These three Guatemalan women’s empowerment nonprofit organizations offer life-changing work all over Guatemala. With Guatemalan charities like these, women and girls are able to become stronger, more empowered, and more independent individuals. However, they need support. Whether it is a donation, volunteering or just spreading awareness, it is all helpful and needed.

In fact, women invest 90% of their income back into their families and communities. This means that when women and girls are supported, they pay it forward and help better their community and their country. Therefore, when you donate money, time, or share articles pertaining to the situation, you are supporting Guatemala.

Pionero Philanthropy is a great place to start supporting Women’s Rights and Empowerment nonprofits in Guatemala.

We assess all nonprofit partners including Creamos, Serniña and Women’s Justice Initiative, and provide in-depth reports on each highlighting how they perform in 5 key areas; Sustainability, Transparency, Efficiency, Impact, and Need/Relevance. Consulting services are also available to match donors to the appropriate nonprofit and maximize the impact of donations.

Contact Pionero Philanthropy if you would like further information about our services