Project Name: GuateBuena Association
Project Leader: Wilfred Sotz
Area of Focus: Utz K’aslemal, Holistic Well-Being
Location: Chimaltenango department of Guatemala, Central America
Partners Since 2017
Fundraising Goal: $24,000
The GuateBuena Association, formerly Community Finance Guatemala, exists to promote Utz K’aslemal, “the good life,” in Guatemalan communities. Utz K’aslemal is a Kaqchikel phrase that envisions an alternative to human development that is informed and inspired by Indigenous values. The vision of GuateBuena is a Guatemala where communities develop integrally, through mutual support, to reach true happiness in harmony with Mother Earth.
GuateBuena’s mission is to conscientize and empower Guatemalan families to create alternative systems, through integral education, accompaniment, and entrepreneural opportunities.
The core of this work is the Community Finance program, through which groups of Indigenous Maya women form solidarity groups and receive training in financial literacy and goal-setting. Through the groups, the women save money, make loans to one another, earn interest, and earn to achieve their goals. Currently, there are more than 400 group members organized in 21 groups. In 2021, these groups saved more than $50,000 Through loans these savings generated more than $10,000 in interest earned and distributed back to the members!
GuateBuena supports these women’s groups holistically in achieving economic, physical, spiritual, emotional, and ecological well-being for themselves, their families, and their communities by providing trainings and counseling, a home gardens initiative, and by connecting members with a network of local services.
Ixoqi’, GuateBuena’s social enterprise, also provides employment to women in the program, a total of 100 artisans who weave, embroider, and prepare bands for hats that are sold to our Texas-based retail partner, Sunshine Tienda.
GuateBuena is an inspiring team of five people from San Juan Comalapa, founder Andrew Becker and his wife Danielle Huffaker, and a wide generosity network of supporters. Our team is devoted to serving Guatemalan communities and embodying GuateBuena’s values:
Shared laughter and tears;
A hand offered freely; and
Trust in one another’s word.