2011GuatemalaAnaCarolinaMedinaCrAnaCarolinaMedina

Ana Carolina Medina

Advisor in the Process of Craft Products

Guatemala

Equality, Economic Development

2009-2010

Partner: Comisión interinstitucional de comercio justo y solidario

My Volunteer Experience

My volunteer experience was amazing. I had the opportunity to work in partnership with a local Fair Trade organization that has 800 members, of whom 95% are women.

Mayan women are artisans, real fighters, many are excellent community leaders, proud to be Mayan, despite all they have suffered including discrimination. These women entrepreneurs are indeed mostly widows who have lost their husbands in the armed conflict that happened in Guatemala in the 80's.

Looking for opportunities, these women decided to organize themselves and formed the Association of Artisans Aj Quen, which produce Fair Trade products. The association has currently 26 member groups of women coming from different regions of Guatemala. They receive a variety of trainings to help them personally and professionally. For instance, workshops topics include: health, rights, gender equality, political empowerment, professional design, handcrafts, basic accounting, leadership and motivation, self esteem and many more.

As a volunteer, I worked with the Guatemalan Fair Trade Commission, assigned to Aj Quen – one of its most prominent members. During my mandate, I:

  • Gave some training on design and the importance of trends in national and international markets
  • Helped the Mayan women develop new products, as well as decorative designs for stands in national and international fairs
  • Participated in the planning, organization and implementation of the 1st National Fair Trade Fair in Guatemala
  • Helped  Aj Quen design a new collection
  • Supported with translation from English to Spanish when dealing with international clients during events
  • Offered training and capacity building workshops to group leaders regarding some techniques, highlighting the importance of knowledge transfer
  • Helped the Association develop new market opportunities
  • Insisted on the importance of gender equality, for the women to know their rights and to fight to defend their position with the Association

Getting the opportunity to be part of the Association was unique and I will always be grateful for having had the opportunity to share their culture, values and their great desire to support their communities.

Others Volunteers

Guatemala ComisionCJyS IvetteAldana 82x75

Ivette Aldana

Representative of the Comisión interinstitucional de comercio justo y solidario of Guatemala

Guatemala

Arnaud Deharte82x75

Arnaud Deharte

Communication and Public Engagement Advisor

Guatemala

GuatemalaElisabethDesgranges201182x75

Élisabeth Desgranges

Gender equality advisor

Guatemala

The UNITERRA BLOG

September 12, 2014
Volunteer your skills and make a difference with Uniterra
June 23, 2014
Toronto Event - June 27
May 26, 2014
Uniterra Leadership Meeting 2014: WUSC Leaders wanted!
March 19, 2014
Documentary Launch: In solidarity with the shea tree

POSITIONS AVAILABLE

UNITERRA
on Facebook