United For a Better Life
The Americas // Guatemala City, Guatemala
United For a Better Life. UPAVIM strives to provide opportunities for women to recognize their potential, both individually and as a group of women united by the desire to create a better life. We believe that when women acknowledge their own capabilities, and have the space and structure to develop their talents, they begin to empower themselves.
Located in a "Red Zone" of Guatemala City, La Esperanza is a community plagued by gangs and violence. For the women of this community, UPAVIM offers a place of sanctuary. It is a space for them to be with their sisters and friends, the women of their community who give them love, hope, strength and purpose. It is also a place of employment to provide income and security for their families. While faced with the numerous challenges of poverty and violence, UPAVIM remains a beacon of hope for the women and children of this community.
"Through UPAVIM, we have learned to recognize and appreciate our qualities, and through this we have succeeded in empowering ourselves and our families.” -upavima (translated from spanish) “Gangs exist because young people have nothing to motivate them to fight for a better future, so it is important for our community to have a place like UPAVIM, with schools to educate the children of the neighborhood and give them a safe place where they can learn and develop aspirations for their future. It gives me great comfort to know that my children can count on UPAVIM and are not playing in the street risking their lives.” -upavima (translated from spanish)
Finding a solution to all of the challenges facing our community requires a real commitment from each one of us – as empowered women, mothers, partners and workers – to take the lead and make the necessary changes, and to do so in solidarity with our community and in solidarity with the most vulnerable and excluded people in Guatemalan society.