In 2009 the women of the community of Virginia expressed an interest in sharing with the financial responsibilities of their families and the nutrition of their children. With the support of MSPP 40 trees were planted and tended by the women of Virginia. This was the beginning of the Women’s Economic Development Program. After two years of tending the trees through the dry season, 35 trees remain. It will be a few more years before these trees produce fruit. For a more immediate source of income, the women have asked for assistance with a chicken program. The women also realize the importance of working together for a common goal.
To help us with the process of teaching the women how to organize, create a successful business plan and to see that plan to fruition we have created a partnership with an organization called Mary’ Pence. Mary’ Pence is a Catholic women’s organization that not only funds women’s programs in other countries but also walks the women through the development of their businesses with a program called an “Espera Fund”.
On February 29, 2011 MSPP funded the expenses for two women to travel from Virginia to Santa Cruz del Quiche so that they could attend an “Espera Fund” meeting with other women’s groups from across the country of Guatemala. The women left this meeting happy, with the assurance of funding for their chicken program and the knowledge they needed to begin organizing as a group. But possibly more importantly, by attending this meeting, a network of women that spans the length and width of the country of Guatemala was created. These women will help and support each other in the development of their individual businesses.