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Guatemalan Angel of Hope Ornament

Item # 33980
No longer available

Sometimes, just when it seems like nothing can go right or you feel like you are at the end of your rope, a miracle happens and everything is turned around. Celebrate these moments with our "Angel of Hope" ornaments.

Made by impoverished women in Guatemala, these ornaments have truly beautiful origins. Their makers live in a slum outside Guatemala City, the name of which translates to "Hope," something these women manage to do despite their bleak environment. With the profit they make selling crafts, the women are not only able to provide incomes to themselves and their families, but they have also collectively developed a community medical clinic, dental clinic and daycare center, and programs for scholarships, tutoring, infant growth monitoring and promoting breast-feeding.

Made from hand-woven cloth and wicker. Please choose Red or Blue. Angels are 3.5" T x 3" W (8.9 x 7.6 cm). Handmade in and fairly traded from Guatemala.

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Artisan: UPAVIM: Women Artisans in Guatemala City

Artisan UPAVIM: Women Artisans in Guatemala City

In the 1980s, the community of La Esperanza (Hope) sprang up to the south of Guatemala City as the result of massive population displacement during Guatemala's 42-year civil war. Today, La Esperanza and the neighboring settlements of Mezquital, Villa Lobos I, Villa Lobos II, El Bucaro and La Jolla are home to hundreds of thousands of people who live largely without basic services. Work in these communities is hard to find, and the typical monthly income is far under the poverty line.

The women of UPAVIM (Unidas Para Vivir Mejor -- United to Live Better) have been working since 1988 to improve the quality of life for families in these communities through selling handicrafts at fair trade prices. The 60+ women creating these crafts are all mothers and homemakers. Some are widows, and many are the sole economic providers for their children. Through involvement with UPAVIM, these women are able to advance towards their goals, which they state as "Education, health care, employment opportunities, and personal development of women."

"Thanks to the hands-on, peer tutoring approach, the contrast between our school and the two primary schools in the neighborhood is dramatic." ~ UPAVIM's website

The same building where the women work houses a Montessori school for their children, the Center for Alternative Learning, enabling the children to attend classes through the 5th grade while their mothers are just a few rooms away. In addition, UPAVIM is able to sustain a daycare for younger children, a dental clinic, Healthy Babies growth monitoring, a medical clinic and pharmacy, a tutoring center, and scholarships to help children of the community attend primary or secondary schools. These programs provide services to thousands of people in La Esperanza and other nearby communities. Some programs are free and the rest charge a low price. These programs are supported by craft sales and other income generating projects as well as international donations and grants.

As a past UPAVIM holiday newsletter states: "Giving women the opportunity to learn and succeed is one of the basic principles that UPAVIM has worked toward since their beginning in 1988. Also, many of the original UPAVIM members now have daughters in the cooperative, and thanks to their mothers' work opportunities they are now attending high schools and universities, and graduating with professional degrees!"

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