Guatemala, meaning a land of trees, has rugged terrain consisting mainly of forests and mountains. Making it difficult for the rural people to transport, farm, and really thrive in farming or business. Empowering these rural people is a basic first step in ending poverty in many underdeveloped countries.
The landscape is filled with the many ruins from the Maya civilization, which makes up the majority people group of Guatemala. This culture was rich in agriculture, weaving, and held very routinely to a calendar, which guided them in planting, harvesting, praying, and selling products. To this day, this synchronizing of days on a calendar continues. For a large percentage of people, Spanish is a second language following the two dozen Mayan languages.
The economy of Guatemala survives on textiles, sugar, coffee, bananas, and sugarcane. The democratic government struggles daily with illiteracy, crime, and poverty, but is working on moving the economy away from coffee and agriculture to more manufacturing and tourism.
Lucia’s Imports works with artisans in Guatemala to fulfill their basic needs and also to attain their dreams and desires, which is not attainable for one-fifth of the world’s inhabitants who live in poverty. This group started in 2005 and continues to work with families, artisans, and co-ops providing products to the wholesale market.
Desiring to keep the culture of weaving alive, they’ve provided a market for wallets, coin purses, handbags, and backpacks; showcasing the bright colors and unique designs from the Maya/Spanish culture. Included in this months Box of Blessings, is a brightly handwoven coin purse, which is perfect for coins or small items.
The handmade, beaded, and stone earrings are simple and unique; making it easy to coordinate with many outfits. They come in an assortment of colors.
The 12 strand bracelet made with glass beads can be worn different ways, loosely or twisted. They come in assorted colors and are an elegant piece of jewelry.
The March cause, UPAVIM is empowering the people of Guatemala, mainly women, in education, healthcare, and employment. “United for a Better Life” is their motto. Some of the projects they have for employment are a bakery, soy food store, and handmade crafts to sell. They offer education for K-6th grade, giving the children opportunities out of poverty and gaining knowledge in life skills. Also, offering healthcare for the children along with educating parents on hygiene and nourishment. They welcome volunteers to come and experience life in Guatemala, while serving in different capacities at UPAVIM. Giving a better life with opportunities and knowledge is what they are accomplishing, which is what International Blessings is all about. It’s so neat to be able to partner with causes all around the world who have the same goals and vision, to make a difference and empower those in impoverished countries.