Empower women. Eliminate poverty.

Recent Posts

Diversify, Study, Grow

by Rachel Turner

Being widowed can be a poverty sentence for a woman in rural Guatemala – especially when she has a child.  However, Martha was determined to create a good life for herself and for her daughter. She started a small corner store in her village but lacked the financial capital to make it flourish. She had heard about Friendship Bridge’s microcredit services and decided to check it out.  She joined a Trust Bank, a group of women borrowing together, and grew her small business into a gift store. At her monthly repayment meetings, she received training about business, health, women’s rights, and family. Over time she began to realize her potential as an entrepreneur. She continued to look for opportunities to diversify her business and knowledge which led her to Friendship Bridge workshops on baking and designing decorations.

During this time, Martha also met and married her second husband. They had two more daughters. From young ages, Martha taught her daughters that the key to achieving goals is hard work and determination.  She inspired her daughters to make education a priority by going back to school and proudly graduating from ninth grade even as she ran a store, baked cakes, and made decorations for special events.  She attended a workshop on nutrition to learn how to better care for herself and her daughters. “I want them to be healthy and focused in school,” said Martha. “Education is the foundation for the girls to be successful in their futures.”

Little by little, Martha has improved their lives through a better home, as well as a large space to receive and work with clients.

“Thanks to the loans, I have been able to diversify my business because I have the necessary financial capital to work with,” said Martha. “Now my three daughters have the opportunity to go to school. I want my daughters to have better opportunities – those that I did not have.”

Through Friendship Bridge’s programs and services, nearly 30,000 women are receiving quality education in business, health, women’s rights, and family.  Many of these women are also prioritizing their children’s education providing a foundation for their futures.  Friendship Bridge is committed to helping meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 4 – providing quality education.

Don’t Worry, Farm Happy

by Rachel Turner

Catarina awoke before daylight to prepare for the day. A small candle gave her enough light to see. She washed with water she had hauled in a bucket. She left her home as the sun was rising hoping to find enough firewood–and clients to buy it–to pay for food. Widowed, it was up to her to feed her four children. Later she would work in her tomato garden. The dry land of her home in Sacapulas didn’t always treat her crop well. But she didn’t complain. Almost everyone in her community also lived in poverty. Natural disasters were not infrequent. Climate change hit them hard in the Extended Dry Corridor of Guatemala.

This was normal life for Catarina before she found educational and financial resources through Friendship Bridge. She joined a group of women called a Trust Bank who take out a group loan and receive monthly business training. “That first loan made a big difference in my life,” said Catarina.  She used the capital to plant a small tomato farm. Later she joined the Agriculture Credit and Training Program learning from Friendship Bridge agronomists about modern farming techniques that improve crops–especially against climate change. They worked closely to identify the various agriculture risks and then introduced new techniques and technology like drip irrigation.

“I fought really hard for my family,” said Catarina. “With Friendship Bridge I found a great opportunity because before we had nothing, and the Agriculture Program helped me to produce good tomato crops. The difference the program makes here is noticeable since other people who are not part of Friendship Bridge have losses. But me and my friends in the Trust Bank have succeeded as agricultural entrepreneur women.”

Like Catarina, sixty percent of clients in the Agriculture Credit and Training Program who have received the trainings have modified their traditional methods and adopted modern ways of farming. Through this program, Friendship Bridge meets two of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals — Responsible Consumption and Production (Goal 12) and Climate Action (Goal 13). As the population is growing, resources are becoming more limited. Therefore, it is increasingly important to educate farmers on responsible uses of land resources. Learning sustainable farming practices and risk mitigation, our clients begin understanding water conservation and how to produce higher yields. In addition, they better understand their production costs and how to run their business more effectively.

For Catarina, the profits and business trainings motivated her to create a parallel income by starting a store and buying a motorcycle to distribute her products. Now she and her family enjoy basic services like running water, electricity, and telephone access. “Thank you, Friendship Bridge, for your support. We had nothing, we suffered a lot, we didn’t even have basic services,” said Catarina. “Now my sons are growing healthy. I have no worries because I have enough to have a decent living without worrying about the future.”

Rising Up: Maria’s Story

by Rachel Turner

Fifteen days after Maria gave birth to her only daughter, her husband abandoned her and their six children with a mountain of debt and no source of income.

“It gave me the opportunity to be brave and rise up for the good of our children,” said Maria, an entrepreneur at heart. She had learned to sew and design from her father and brothers as a young girl after her mother died. When her father married her off to the neighbor boy at seventeen, the new couple decided to design jewelry together and sell it. With Maria managing the business, it grew considerably. However, fourteen years later, her husband took the business and left debts.

Determined to build an independent life, Maria traveled via bus three hours from her home to build a clientele for a new jewelry business. Her neighbors ridiculed her. Others advised her not to go. She pressed on, visiting boutiques and artisan businesses showing samples of her work in a new territory. Her trip was a resounding success. She met a shop owner looking for someone to create new designs out of Colombian beads. Today, she continues to provide products for him.

During that time, she also met America Chiyal from Friendship Bridge and joined a Trust Bank.  She obtained a loan to help build her artisan business but also received moral support from the women at her monthly loan repayment meetings.  Her confidence began to build. Old clients began looking for her since they valued her integrity and the quality of her work. Little by little, her business grew.

Along with business training, and community support from other businesswomen, Maria also used Friendship Bridge’s Health for Life services, allowing her to receive preventive healthcare for free in her native language through a mobile clinic in her community.

Later she joined Friendship Bridge’s Artisan Market Access program which taught her about expanding her business, quality control, product pricing, and exporting. “I bettered my children’s nutrition so they could be healthy. They attended school, and four of them are now working while two finish school,” said Maria. “Today I employ more than 25 women, I export to the United States, France, and Colombia, and I own property where I will build a house next year.”

Today, Maria employs her two daughters-in-law and works daily with her 16-year-old daughter.  Two of her sons also work in the business.  “My life is full,” said Maria. “To get up after a failure is difficult. However, today my business is thriving, I feel empowered, and I can make my own decisions and support my community.  I’m very grateful.”

Each time you donate to Friendship Bridge, you change the world, one woman at a time. Now is your chance to make an even greater impact! A generous donor is matching donations up to $30,000 until December 9th. Take advantage and make each of your dollars go even further by donating at www.friendshipbridge.org/Maria

The Passing of Rebecca Cueto

On October 5th, we lost our dear friend and longtime co-worker, Rebecca Cueto. As it says in her below obituary, “Rebecca was a compassionate and thoughtful person committed to being kind to those around her and making the world a better and brighter place, especially for women.” At Friendship Bridge, we are humbled to have had Rebecca as an incredible advocate for our clients through her hard work, deep compassion and support. Her strength has been passed on to the thousands of women we work with who Rebecca was fiercely committed to serving. We will miss our dear friend greatly.

You can read Rebecca’s obituary here:  https://www.kasslyfuneral.com/notices/Rebecca-Cueto

Martha: How Her Success Blossomed

“I want my daughters to have better opportunities, opportunities that I did not have since my father abandoned us when I was a little girl and my mother, with tremendous effort, moved us forward. Because of her, I was able to reach the 9th grade.”

Martha is 34 years old and a mother of three children. Nine years ago she came to Friendship Bridge looking for those better opportunities. She took out her first loan, and now, 14 loan cycles later, her business and family are thriving.

“I have been able to diversify my business because I have the necessary financial capital to work. In addition, I was selected to participate in an Advanced Training provided by Friendship Bridge and I learned to make cakes. Shortly after that, I was able to buy a new stove for my cake business. Now I have a handicraft store selling wreaths. I also sell shoes and clothes, and I was able to buy my electric machine to make “Granizadas” (crushed ice with flavor and fruits on top).”

Martha also had taken advantage of Friendship Bridge’s Chanim Chanim loan and recently took our her fourth loan of this kind. Chanim Chanim means “fast” in Maya Kakchiquel language. This loan gives quick access to loan capital to existing clients with a good credit history.

Now Martha makes enough money to be able to fix her house. She also is sending all three of her children to school. Her oldest daughter just started High School.

Martha is one of the many client success stories featured in our 2018 Annual Report. Click HERE to read more about our program, clients, and how we are growing as an organization!

Gloria: An Honor Earned by Whole Planet Foundation

by Marta Julia Ixtuc Cuc

Whole Planet Foundation was founded by Whole Foods Market. They work in 77 countries around the world. The region of the Americas (including North, Central, South America and the Caribbean) has approximately 23 partners. Among these is Friendship Bridge. Every year Whole Planet Foundation recognizes the hard work of the field officers from the organizations they partner with by giving the Field Officer Appreciation Award. In the last 3 years, Friendship Bridge has nominated exceptional Facilitators (loan officers) for this award. This is the third time one of our nominees has won, and it was presented to Gloria Cholotío. The Whole Planet Foundation award committee was impressed by Gloria’s character, the quality of her portfolio, and her passion for delivering Non-Formal Education. As a result, she was recognized as one of the top three facilitators in all of the Americas!

At 41, Gloria is Friendship Bridge’s longest-serving Facilitator. She has been working for the organization for 16 years. Since then, she has built a client portfolio of over 580 women who she meets with monthly to provide education and microcredit. When Gloria first saw the vision and mission of Friendship Bridge, she said: “I was struck by the fact that Friendship Bridge supports women through credit and non-formal education.” Gloria has two daughters and one son so a commitment to women’s education is important to her. All three of her children have pursued education. The oldest is in university for systems engineering, the next oldest is a preschool teacher, and the youngest is still in school.

Gloria with JP Kloninger

During a small award ceremony on July 30th at the Friendship Bridge office in Panajachel, Guatemala, JP Kloninger, the Regional Director of the Americas from Whole Planet Foundation, highlighted different reasons why the committee chose Gloria as one of the winners. Among the many reasons he mentioned were her dedication to educating more than 580 women per month which is not only above the average for facilitators within the organization but also above the average for the entire region of the Americas. JP also highlighted the fact that Gloria’s parents put a lot of value in her education, and that she has passed on that same value to her own family and also her clients. She is a role model for many women.

When Gloria went to receive the award, she felt very excited and shared with the crowd, “Thank you very much for the trust you have in me! I didn’t expect this award after so many years in the organization! But it has been worth it because of the women.” With tears in her eyes, she said, “JP touched my soul when he mentioned my parents because everything I am is because of them. I have seen many colleagues grow up in this organization. I love and admire them. I greatly appreciate Friendship Bridge because of the many lessons I have received. I have had many clients, and I have seen them stand up, fall, and lift up again. Some have died, and for them, I dedicate this award.”

At Friendship Bridge, we feel so honored to have members of our staff, such as Gloria, who align themselves with the vision and social mission of our organization. We are proud of Gloria for her hard work during these 16 years in the organization, and we greatly appreciate the recognition of our staff by our wonderful partner Whole Planet Foundation.

 

 

Marta Julia Ixtuc is the Client Communications Coordinator in Guatemala. Based in Sololá, she continues seeking to support the development of Guatemalan women in search of their own ways out of poverty.

Maria: Success After Failure

“To get up after a failure is difficult. I had an unsuccessful marriage. However, it gave me the opportunity to be brave and to move forward for the sake of my children. I found Friendship Bridge, which not only supported me with financial resources for my small craft business but also helped me with moral support through my monthly Trust Bank meetings. Today, my business is thriving, I feel empowered, I can make my own decisions and support my community. Thanks to the growth of my business, I have been able to employ 25 people from three communities.”

Maria is one of our many success stories. Like many clients, Maria was struggling to survive on her own after her marriage ended. She turned to Friendship Bridge for support. Now in her 5th loan cycle with us, she is an employer and recently came in second place for the 2019 Citi Award as recognition of her business success! She is an example of how the tools we offer clients through our Microcredit Plus programs make a lasting difference in their lives.

Maria recently came to our Central Office with two large cakes, and a letter expressing her gratitude for Friendship Bridge’s support. Her letter is below:

Friendship Bridge,

I cordially wish you success in your daily work.
 
Through this letter, I want to thank you for the opportunity that you gave me to participate in the Citi Bank Awards. For me, it was a huge joy to win 2nd place. I learned so much and, at the same time, I was able to show my artisan products at an international level.
 
I am so happy for the support that Friendship Bridge gave me in that process. It was an unforgettable and good experience for me. I hope to continue working with you in the future. God bless and I wish huge success for all Friendship Bridge employees.
Yours truly, María
We are proud of Maria and her success! If you are interested in supporting her further you can shop some of her beautiful artisan items through our Handmade by Friendship Bridge online shop. Follow the links below!
More Bang for the Buck with Charitable Contributions from an IRA – the Qualified Charitable Distribution

More Bang for the Buck with Charitable Contributions from an IRA – the Qualified Charitable Distribution

 

by James Wood

Are you 70 ½ or older?  Do you have an IRA?  IF SO, read on:

What motivates us to give to charities?  The answer to that question is different for everyone, I suppose.  In my case, my wife and I generally look to where we think our donations can get the most bang for the buck — does the charity really need our help?  — are our dollars going to be well spent?  — what aspects of the charity earn our long-term loyalty, or cry out for some short-term support?  While our primary motivation has little to do with any tax benefits that might accrue to us, we look at the tax benefits as a way to maximize what we can afford to give away.  In this light, I wanted to share with a subset of our wonderful Friendship Bridge donors an idea that might be appealing.  As you might already know, provisions in the recent tax law change created a relatively simple way for many donors to make charitable contributions on a more “tax-efficient” basis, through something known as a “qualified charitable distribution,” or “QCD.”

If you are 70 ½ or older and have an IRA, you can make a charitable contribution directly from your IRA to a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity such as Friendship Bridge, and the contribution will count as part of your “minimum required distribution” for the year in which the contribution is made.  This may have some big benefits if you fall within a “sweet spot” under the new tax law.  (QCDs are limited to $100,000 each year.)

Normally, most or all of the required minimum distributions that you receive from your IRA will be taxable to you, but if you make a QCD, then the amount of the charitable contribution, if made directly from your IRA, will not be included in your adjusted gross income but will count as part of your minimum required distribution.  The kicker is that you can still use the new, more generous personal exemption of $24,400 for joint filers ($12,200 if filing singly), and the extra standard deduction for the aged and blind of $1,300 each for joint filers ($1,650 if filing singly) – these are all 2019 amounts.  For many of us older donors, this may fit us to a T.  Like us, maybe you’ve paid off your home mortgage by this time in your life, so you aren’t generating a lot of mortgage interest deductions.  And maybe it’s going to make more sense for you to use the increased personal exemptions instead of itemizing your deductions; this is especially true now since the deduction for real property taxes and state income taxes has been capped at $10,000.   If you happen to be in the same boat as my wife and I are in, you are going to want to stop itemizing and instead will use the personal exemptions and standard deductions.  But by using some of your minimum required distributions from an IRA to make your charitable contributions with a QCD, you effectively are getting a charitable deduction AND the benefit of the higher personal exemptions.

To boil all of this down, if you are 70 ½ or older and you have an IRA, you really ought to look into this.  Your attorney, tax accountant, or investment advisor can give you advice on how to do this and whether it makes sense for you.  It’s not complicated at all.  But it takes a little bit of planning, so don’t wait until the last minute!

 

James joined the Board of Friendship Bridge in 2011 and is now Co-Chair of the Board. He was a business law attorney at Sherman & Howard in Denver for over 42 years.  James received his B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin and his J.D. from Yale Law School. He first became interested in Friendship Bridge when he helped develop an experiential learning program at the school where his children attended; students took school-sponsored trips to Guatemala and learned about Friendship Bridge. For several years, James provided pro bono legal services in connection with borrowings by Friendship Bridge and various corporate and contract matters. His wife (Felicity Hannay) was a board member from 2006 to 2012. 

Friendship Bridge has a new brand!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUf0Dj7M8gw

Dear Friends,

We are excited to share with you important news about the evolution of Friendship Bridge. We are also delighted to present our new brand that better reflects who we have become.

Over the years, Friendship Bridge has become internationally recognized as a leader for our commitment to social impact.[1] We have built one of the highest quality microfinance portfolios in all of Central America and the Caribbean.[2] We have evolved over the past 20 years since we started in Guatemala and it is time our brand catches up.

Few organizations are as committed to women’s financial and social well-being as we are. In 1998, we were one of the first microfinance organizations in Guatemala. Now, people living in poverty have many other options to borrow money. However, we are still the ONLY microfinance organization serving 100% women and ensuring every product and service we offer is created with a gender lens, designed to meet the needs of our clients and their families. As a result, our clients recognize us as an institution that truly cares about her well-being; and we enjoy very high client satisfaction and client retention.

In the marketplace, we need our client-driven mission to rise above the rest to truly reflect our unique and impactful products and services. A new and exciting marketing strategy, along with our new identity incorporating our Guatemalan roots and a visible commitment to women, will kick off next month. This is an exciting time for Friendship Bridge!

As you will see, this exciting new brand preserves the bridge of our original logo while emphasizing our commitment to women and adding the beautiful colors and meaningful Mayan patterns that resonate with our clients.

We are so grateful that you are part of this journey!

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

[1] “Truelift Recognizes Fundación Paraguaya and Friendship Bridge as Global Leaders in Pro-Poor Performance”

[2]  2018 REDCAMIF Report on Portfolio Quality.

Introducing the newest member of our Board of Directors

We would like to introduce you to Paula Gomez Farrell Ph.D. She is the newest member of Friendship Bridge’s Board of Directors. Paula’s professional background includes over 35 years of experience leading and working with nonprofit and government organizations. Her experience has largely involved work with and in organizations that served underrepresented and disenfranchised individuals and families. She frequently worked as an advocate and organizational leader for people with developmental disabilities, individuals with severe mental illness, victims of domestic violence, people who were homeless as well as adults and teens who were unemployed. In the early 90s she was Director of the Colorado Developmental Disabilities Planning Council under Governor Romer. Her mid-career focus was on the deinstitutionalization of people with disabilities and mental health concerns. She also worked in organizations focused on reducing racial disparities in income and access to healthcare. During the recession between 2007 and 2010, she was the Director of the Division of Workforce Development under Mayor John Hickenlooper.

In 2015 she became a Social Entrepreneur when she opened an art gallery to benefit local artists and nonprofit organizations. Paula ran the gallery for two years.

We asked Paula a few questions to get to know her better:

Friendship Bridge: Why did you choose the career path you took?

“I chose to dedicate my professional career to leading organizations that served people with life challenges because of my own personal challenges related to poverty and lack of natural supports as a child and young adult.,” said Paula. “I became a high school dropout. I was able to overcome many of my early life challenges by serving in the United States Air Force and earning my Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D. degrees while I worked.”

Friendship Bridge: What drew you to Friendship Bridge?

“I first heard about Friendship Bridge about nine years ago through members of the Genesee Circle. The more I heard, the more I wanted to become involved. I thought it would be a good way for me to contribute my skills globally,” Paula said. “After decades of working with government and nonprofit organizations in the U.S., I thought this would be a good organization to support. The first time I saw the Guatemalan women in person and the way they worked hard, cared for their families and each other, I knew I would make Friendship Bridge a focus of the next phase of my life.”

Friendship Bridge: If you could meet any female historical figure, who would you meet?

“It is hard to pick just one. As a girl, I devoured biographies about successful women. I wanted to meet Helen Keller, Harriet Tubman, Babe Didrikson, Eleanor Roosevelt, and many others. Helen Keller really struck a chord with me because, she like all of the other women, found ways to overcome many barriers and do tremendous things for other people. As an adult, I still enjoy reading about women with integrity, tenacity and a commitment to making the world a better place for all of us.”

We are happy to have Paula join the Friendship Bridge Board, and look forward to working with her!

 

Making the Guatemalan Dream come true!

by Marta Julia Ixtuc

Guatemala is a beautiful country full of hardworking people. Sadly, its political climate and several other injustices prevent families from having access to basic services and good opportunities for development. Added to these factors, the insecurity, and extreme poverty push thousands of Guatemalans to risk their lives by leaving their homes in search of the American Dream.

The US Government recently announced it is cutting all international aid to Guatemala as a way to rebuke the lack of illegal immigration control of thousands of people crossing borders to reach America—not only Guatemalan but from different Central American nationalities. This is a punitive decision that will cause more problems due to the cancellation of the cash flow to several humanitarian projects running in the country. This will force rural people further into extreme poverty and illegal migration.

For 20 years in Guatemala, Friendship Bridge has been helping thousands of Guatemalan women construct their own path towards empowerment, to make the Guatemalan Dream come true. The opportunities we provide keep families together, giving alternatives to migration with the creation of jobs and income. We teach them to manage resources and their businesses, ending poverty not only for our clients but for their communities, and ultimately reaching the Guatemalan Dream.

Ana, who lives in a rural area in the northern Guatemalan highlands, is a great example. She and her family are farmers and lived in desperate poverty. Ana’s husband wanted to migrate to the United States to support his family. However, he couldn’t make it across the border and was deported. They became deeply indebted from his journey from smugglers fees (“coyotes” charge around $12,000 per trip).





 

Ana stayed behind during her husband’s trip and continued to work on their farm. At a desperate point, she joined Friendship Bridge. Finally, she had financial support and a social help network with neighbors in her Trust Bank. With the training offered by Friendship Bridge, she became empowered, making better decisions for herself and her family. Ana soon joined the Friendship Bridge Women’s Agricultural Credit and Training Program. This program offers technical assistance teaching modern agricultural techniques for improving land use and sustainability. When receiving this support, Ana’s husband decided to stay in Guatemala without trying to return to the US. In Guatemala, their family could build a Guatemalan Dream.

Vidalia is another story of the Guatemalan Dream coming true. She had very little formal education but over the years she has built a small business for herself. Vidalia’s husband wanted to travel to the US due to the few job opportunities that Guatemalan farmers face. Vidalia, being an empowered woman, was able to express to her husband that she did not want to be alone, that they both had to work together to move their family forward. She has received Friendship Bridge’s services for more than 10 years and with it, she has managed to grow their business making jewelry, ornaments, bags, and other products. From their business profits, Vidalia was able to buy a sewing machine that her husband also uses to make new products. The business has been so successful that they now employ dozens of people in their community.

Community development does not happen overnight. It comes after several years, with the support of donations, grants, and investments from people who trust in Friendship Bridge’s vision and mission. We are bringing development opportunities that many Guatemalan families need and deserve. You are part of this effort and we need your help to create opportunities through our Microcredit Plus Program that empower Guatemalan women to build a better life. Please give today, and help us create more opportunities for Guatemalan women to make their Guatemalan Dream come true. Thank you for your support!

 

Donate  

 

Marta Julia Ixtuc is the Client Communications Coordinator in Guatemala. Based in Sololá, she continues seeking to support the development of Guatemalan women in search of their own ways out of poverty.

The Nawal of our Dreams!

In Mayan tradition, Nawals are the spirits or energetic archetypes that represents a certain day of the month. In the Mayan calendar, there are 20 days in a month, and 18 months in a year. Similar to the more commonly known European astrology, every person has a specific Nawal based on the day of their birth.

For example, actress Susan Sarandon, who endorsed Friendship Bridge last year in this video, has the Nawal of the Eagle, which signifies someone who is wise, could easily be famous and has a wide view of society. It’s easy to see how she fits this description with her fame, social activism, and charisma.

This year our Building Bridges Stay-At-Home Gala is on April 6th. This day has the Mayan sign of the Earth. People related to this sign are very great dreamers. This is perfect for the day of our celebration, as our theme for this year’s Gala is “From Dream to Reality: 20 years in Guatemala.” Not only are we celebrating our 20th anniversary of when we first brought our Microcredit Plus services to Guatemala, but we are also celebrating the accomplishments of our clients, who brought their dreams into manifestation through working with Friendship Bridge.

Candelaria is one of these clients. She has worked with Friendship Bridge for almost twelve years, but just recently joined the Artisan Market Access Program. A few months ago she came into the Friendship Bridge office in Panajachel to work with Maya Colop-Morales, our Artisan Program Manager. Maya was ending a very long, tiring day of working with clients on product development. Candelaria was the last client of the day, and Maya was exhausted and ready to be done. Candelaria approached Maya and told her “I had a dream a long time ago, that one day I would be here working with you to sell my products in the United States. Today my dream has come true! You must feel so lucky to work with women like me to help our dreams come true!” Maya was deeply touched by Candelaria’s story and felt the joy in her words. Maya also felt a renewed sense of purpose in her work, as she recognized through Candelaria’s story the important work Friendship Bridge does for women in Guatemala!

You, too, can help women’s dreams become reality by joining us for our Building Bridges Stay-At-Home Gala on April 6th. You can celebrate in the comfort of your own home, or join one of the many Gala parties happening across the country. There will be videos to watch, and games to play about your Mayan sign. All ticket sales go to support our Microcredit Plus programs in Guatemala and can be purchased here. Standard tickets include a gift of handmade coasters created by our artisan clients. VIP ticket-holders also receive a beautiful Dream scarf, handwoven by Candelaria. Candelaria shared with us the intention in her design of the Dream Scarf.

“The ikat color I used comes from our nature, and the figure is a woman. For me, as a Mayan woman, we have the same rights as men. We can earn our own money with our talent that is why we have to value ourselves as women. The message of how important women are in the world is what I’m weaving in the ikat design of the scarf.”

So we ask you, what are your dreams? Have they come true? How do they relate to your Mayan sign? To find out what your sign is, you can calculate it here. We look forward to exploring our dreams further on the night of the Gala! You can purchase tickets below.

 

Purchase Gala Tickets Here