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Asociacion Maya de Desarrollo is a worker cooperative of 180 women located in the highlands of Solola, Guatemala. The co-op celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2008.
The Cooperative strengthens the economic position of these rural Mayan women, and creates a greater sense of well being and security based on improved earnings -- two to four times what the women would earn weaving for their local market.
These improved earnings enable the women and their families to have access to a better diet, to badly needed medicines, and their children to stay in school rather than having to work to supplement the family income. The women can stay in their own villages and work at home instead of having to move elsewhere to work as domestics, agricultural workers or in factories
The co-op expands gender equality and leadership roles for village women. It creates full-time employment for four to eight women in dyeing and management, and part-time employment for about 180 weavers. It also helps the weavers to conserve their cultural traditions in a financially viable way, by developing a unique line of handwoven products using the ancient technology of the backstrap loom along with innovative fibers and designs.
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