UPAVIM was established in 1988 as a Healthy Baby Program in the shanty area of “La Esperanza,” Zone 12 of Guatemala City by Barbara Lorraine, a nurse from the United States. After working with the local women, Barbara realized that the women not only suffered from extreme poverty, lack of formal education, and lack of water supply, they also had alcoholic husbands or sons involved in drug trafficking. With little to no help from their husbands, the women were left to support their large families. As a result, an income generating project was founded which involved training the women to make crafts using traditional Guatemalan textiles to sell on the fair trade market. UPAVIM is now one of the biggest and most successful artisan groups in the country. It continues to create new projects for the women and their families including a primary school, nursery, clinic, bakery, soy milk production and cheese project. Today, the women not only have a source of income, they also receive training and education.
Sharing the Dream in Guatemala partnered with UPAVIM for many projects, including its biggest, raising $15,000 in one year to buy the land and building next to the original building.
Friends of the Sharing the Dream in Guatemala is a 501(c)(3) organization under the IRS Code. Your donations are tax deductible.