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Nuestra historia se ha centrado en motivar el espiritu de descubrimiento en las mujeres

En Guatemala la situación de pobreza se da en su mayoría en las comunidades rurales, aquejando principalmente al sector femenino, que se ha visto afectado dentro de otras razones por la arraigada creencia de que la mujer es menos productiva que el hombre. Hecho que ha perjudicado el desarrollo integral de las mujeres y ha limitado grandemente la inclusión del sexo femenino en el mercado laboral. Según datos del PENUD el occidente del país, donde se encuentra ubicado el departamento de Quetzaltenango, es la región con menos oportunidades para las mujeres. En San Carlos Sija municipio de Quetzaltenango también esta realidad afecta grandemente, partiendo del porcentaje de analfabetismo donde la mayor parte lo constituyen las féminas. Según datos del diagnostico integral del municipio el 45% de la población económicamente activa es encabezado por el sector masculino. Puesto que aunque las mujeres aportan al hogar realizando actividades económicas artesanales, no es considerado como un aporte formal, ya que ellas son vistas en su mayoría solo capaces para velar por el cuidado del hogar y de los hijos.
Por esta razón dentro de mi trabajo en la biblioteca comunitaria FUENTE DE SABURIA hemos tomado la iniciativa de promover el desarrollo integral de la mujer. Formando en el año 2007 “el grupo de mujeres de la biblioteca” y a partir de allí se han facilitado talleres de auto estima, desarrollo personal, manualidades, gastronomía, promoción de productos locales, entre otros.
A partir del 2013 estamos formando y fortaleciendo el conocimiento de nuestras mujeres en tecnología, desde el uso básico de una computadora encender, apagar, partes de la computadora y conocimiento básico de los programas de Microsoft. Resaltando que la mayor parte de nuestras usuarias no lograron finalizar el nivel primario en la escuela, entonces el requisito fue al menos conocer las letras para identificarlas en el teclado. Ha sido una aventura fascinante y hoy nuestros grupos hasta el momento conocen sobre Word y power point. A partir de esto gracias a la ayuda de Fundación Riecken y un aporte de la municipalidad se tiene acceso a internet gratuito, y lo estamos aprovechando para que las mujeres obtengan información de diferentes temas en la red. hemos iniciado con búsqueda de información, precauciones en la red, creación de correos electrónicos, perfiles en redes sociales y en unos días iniciamos con la creación de blogs.
Hoy vienen mujeres a buscar recetas de cocina, temas relacionados con el hogar entre otras cosas y con mucha confianza solicitan una computadora para practicar lo que han aprendido o para buscar alguna información. Algunas vienen a ver videos de puntadas de crochet , tricot o trabajos manuales.
La mayor parte de nuestras usuarias son emprendedoras y a parte de recibir una serie de talleres sobre empresarialidad y emprendedurismo también utilizaremos el internet para promover sus habilidades y productos: De esta forma identificar un mercado que les permita obtener un mejor nivel de vida. quizás estamos soñando demasiado pero cada día vamos dando un paso con estas mujeres luchadoras que solo necesitaban una dosis de animo y recursos necesarios, para emprender un camino de muchas oportunidades.

English translation by community member J.Buchanan

Our History Has Focused on Encouraging the Spirit of Discovery in Women

In Guatemala, poverty most often is found in rural areas, primarily affecting women who have suffered in part from the entrenched belief that women are less productive than men. This fact has hurt the development of women and has greatly limited women’s inclusion in the labor market. According to data from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the west of the country, where Quetzaltenango is located, offers fewer opportunities for women. In San Carlos Sija, a municipality of Quetzaltenango, this is often the reality—based on the high percentage of illiteracy, mostly women. According to a comprehensive study of the municipality, 45% of economic activity is headed by men. Although women do contribute to the home by undertaking economic activities such as artisanal work or handicrafts, this is not viewed as a formal contribution. Women continue to be regarded as only capable of childcare and home upkeep.

For this reason, in my work with the community library, Fuente de Saburia, we have launched the initiative to promote the comprehensive development of women. Forming in 2007, the “group of women from the library” have facilitated workshops to promote self-esteem, personal development, crafts, cooking, promotion of local products, and many others.

Since 2013, we have been training and strengthening women in technology—from basic computer skills (turning it on and off, parts of the computer) and knowledge of Microsoft programs. Taking into account that most of our users failed to complete primary school, our requirement was to at the very least identify the letters on the keyboard. It has been a fascinating adventure, and now our groups know about Word and Powerpoint. This is thanks to the Riecken Foundation and a contribution from the municipality for free Internet access. We are taking advantage of this for women to gain information about different topics on the web. We have done web searches, learned about basic web precautions, composed emails, created social networking profiles, and within days we had started blogging.

Today women come to look for recipes, things related to home upkeep and maintenance, and other things. They are able to use a computer and put to use what they have learned to find information with confidence. Many come to watch videos about crocheting, knitting, or other crafting projects.

Most of our users are entrepreneurs and have now benefitted from a series of workshops on entrepreneurship. They have since used these skills to promote their abilities and products on the Internet. From this, they can identify a market to sell their products which will in turn lead to a better quality of life. Perhaps we are dreaming too much, but everyday we take a step with these women who are fighting; all they need is a bit of encouragement and some resources to enable them to embark on a path of opportunity.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Women Weave the Web Digital Action Campaign. Learn more »

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LeanaM's picture

Bienvenida!

Hola Paola,
Bienvenida a World Pulse y gracias por contribuir a nuestra campana! Habras visto el mensaje privado que te envie la semana pasada con mas info acerca de nuestro sitio web?
Un abrazo,
Leana

martha llano's picture

Bienvenida Paola

Hola Paola,

qué maravilloso saber que estás entrando en este maravilloso mundo de World Pulse. Sentirás la comodidad de contar con mujeres a miles de kilómetros de tí, leyéndote, escuchando tu voz, mirando tus bellos ojos para saber que eres una mujer que vive en otras latitudes y que aún así se ve enfrentada a las mismas particularidades que nos exige nuestro género.

Bienvenida y si en algo te puedo ayudar sólo escríbeme, ser´aun placer.

Con afecto

Martha

Con afecto

Martha Llano
selva@sentir.org
marthallano.wix.com/serna

HAGA ALGO........ lo que lo haga feliz!
Y tan sólo recuerde que las soluciones a problemas globales dependen de cada individuo.

kellyannaustin's picture

Adelante!

Paola,

Muchisimas gracias por compartir tu ensayo detallando las intervenciones que la biblioteca ha logrado en tu comunidad. Sabes que hay opportunidades para conectarte con Beyond Access a traves de tu participaction con World Pulse. La informacion sigue en ingles. ?Quizas pueda utilizar google translate para traducirlo? !Si no, yo puedo traducirlo para que sepas de las oportunidades que tenemos!

I understand you already work with one of our World Pulse partners, Beyond Access. Wonderful and welcome! We'd like to encourage you to compose a piece about digital issues for our Women Weave the Web Campaign! I'd love to hear your response and thoughts about how technology affects your life and the lives of women around you. After all it is through technology that you've shared your thoughts already! You can find out more information about the campaign here, http://worldpulse.com/campaigns/www/how-to-participate It would be fabulous to have your voice join others as we think through issues around digital access in all its complexity. Perhaps that would have something to do with the libraries you already work to support.

There is also a prize that will be awarded to an outstanding grassroots woman and visionary voice using digital tools to effect change and advance her community work. The prize will include the 2014 Lynn Syms Prize title, a $20,000 monetary prize to be paid out over two years to support her community based work, a feature profile on WorldPulse.com, and an all-expense paid trip to speak her message in New York City. You can find more on the website, http://worldpulse.com/campaigns/www/www-women-weave-the-web-campaign-prizes

The deadline to submit is March 31st!

Wishing you peace,

Kelly

J.Buchanan's picture

Translation

“Our History Has Focused on Encouraging the Spirit of Discovery in Women”

In Guatemala, poverty most often is found in rural areas, primarily affecting women who have suffered in part from the entrenched belief that women are less productive than men. This fact has hurt the development of women and has greatly limited women’s inclusion in the labor market. According to data from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the west of the country, where Quetzaltenango is located, offers fewer opportunities for women. In San Carlos Sija, a municipality of Quetzaltenango, this is often the reality—based on the high percentage of illiteracy, mostly women. According to a comprehensive study of the municipality, 45% of economic activity is headed by men. Although women do contribute to the home by undertaking economic activities such as artisanal work or handicrafts, this is not viewed as a formal contribution. Women continue to be regarded as only capable of childcare and home upkeep.

For this reason, in my work with the community library, Fuente de Saburia, we have launched the initiative to promote the comprehensive development of women. Forming in 2007, the “group of women from the library” have facilitated workshops to promote self-esteem, personal development, crafts, cooking, promotion of local products, and many others.

Since 2013, we have been training and strengthening women in technology—from basic computer skills (turning it on and off, parts of the computer) and knowledge of Microsoft programs. Taking into account that most of our users failed to complete primary school, our requirement was to at the very least identify the letters on the keyboard. It has been a fascinating adventure, and now our groups know about Word and Powerpoint. This is thanks to the Riecken Foundation and a contribution from the municipality for free Internet access. We are taking advantage of this for women to gain information about different topics on the web. We have done web searches, learned about basic web precautions, composed emails, created social networking profiles, and within days we had started blogging.

Today women come to look for recipes, things related to home upkeep and maintenance, and other things. They are able to use a computer and put to use what they have learned to find information with confidence. Many come to watch videos about crocheting, knitting, or other crafting projects.

Most of our users are entrepreneurs and have now benefitted from a series of workshops on entrepreneurship. They have since used these skills to promote their abilities and products on the Internet. From this, they can identify a market to sell their products which will in turn lead to a better quality of life. Perhaps we are dreaming too much, but everyday we take a step with these women who are fighting; all they need is a bit of encouragement and some resources to enable them to embark on a path of opportunity.

J.Buchanan's picture

!Felicitaciones¡

Primero, quiero decir muchas gracias por compartir su ensayo y su trabajo con nosotros. Creo que nos ha mostrado un progreso real y sostenible. Me parece como el trabajo de la biblioteca tiene fuerza y un futuro lleno de oportunidad.

Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

Thank You, Paola!

Dear Paola,

You've done a wonderful and compelling job of sharing this information. I am touched and uplifted to hear of the ways in which your community library has provided so many avenues of support to the women of your community and beyond. I'm especially moved to hear that many of the women never finished primary school and need to learn spelling, reading and the alphabet at the same time they are learning to make use of the Internet. This must be very difficult for them, and yet what better way to learn than to learn everything in it's entirety?! (All at once.)

Self-esteem is surely crucial to each woman and to the successful approach to all the other programs you offer. Women are so powerful and so many have not had the opportunity to recognize their positive, individual power, let alone to make use of it.

Clearly, your work with the "group of women from the library, " has made and continues to make a great difference for these women.

I have great respect for all that you are doing to bring hope, education and empowerment to women.

I wish you the very best in all that you do,

With Admiration,

- Sarah

Klaudia Mexico's picture

Sin límites

Querida Paola

Estoy segura que los grandes proyectos comienzan por ser sueños que parecen inalcanzables. Así que, ¿qué más da si ustedes sueñan? Algún día esos sueños serán realidades. Quizás en dos generaciones como le pasó a los sueños de mi abuela Catita, pero lo logramos.

Quisiera recomendarte que te acerques al proyecto POETA, por inbox te mandaré el contacto que tengo.

Mucho éxito y aquí tienes una amiga que está a tus amables órdenes.

Saludos

Klaudia González

erinluhmann's picture

No Limits

Dear Paola,

I love the initiative you've taken in connecting women to the Internet at your community library! You mentioned that some of the women you've trained are entrepreneurs. Are they selling products online? If so, where can we find view and shop for their products? I immediately thought of a site called Etsy.com, when I read your story. I bought a pair of hand-crafted earrings from a woman in Japan, with the click of a button. There are so many opportunities for economic, educational, and social advancement when women are granted Internet access through digital literacy. Keep up the good work!

Best,
Erin

Trudy's picture

Women Supporting Women

Paola,

I was thrilled to read of your community of women working together to create opportunity! Thank you so much for sharing with us and please realize that you are not dreaming. Your groups creativity and strength will continue to build as long as you maintain the bond. The wonderful part is that it appears that computers are much of the glue that is keeping your group growing....I am so hoping many of you will share on World Pulse and that we continue to hear of your adventures in opportunity and entrepreneurship!

Sue (aka Trudy)

-------------------------------------------------------

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible."
(Walt Disney)

Vision40's picture

Great!

Hi Paola,

Thank you for sharing your story. First let me congratulate you on your partnership working as this has obviously meant you have been able to get started and maintain pace with your ambitions. I think it is wonderful that you have empowered these women so much that they can now use the internet with flexibility for what they feel is important to them. To use the internet to watch videos and find recipes, can as you say, lead to wonderful entrepreneurship. Well done and keep up this amazing empowerment you are achieving.

First you need to believe you can!
Nicola

First you need to believe you can
Take care
Nicola

ccontreras's picture

Te felicito!

Muchas felicidades por el bello trabajo que estan haciendo! Yo soy de Guatemala y visito nuestro bello pais por lo menos dos veces al ano. La proxima vez que ande por alla me gustaria visitarlos. :-)

"I embrace emerging experience. I am a butterfly. Not a butterfly collector." - Stafford

paola's picture

Muchas Gracias!

Quiero agradecer el permitirme formar parte de esta plataforma tan importante de apoyo a las mujeres, sin lugar a duda son necesarios estos espacios para hacer eco ante las limitables que la mujer enfrenta y los logros que las valientes obtienen :)
Gracias Leana por este espacio y tus mensajes privados, me han orientado mucho.
Gracias Martha por la bienvenida y tu comentario.
Gracias Kelly por la invitacion a Beyond Access, tenemos mucho por hacer aun y las oportunidades son un aliciente a la lucha diaria.
Gracias J. Buchanan por la traduccion al idioma ingles, tu gesto fue maravilloso
Gracias Sarah por tus impresiones y deseamos compartir con las mujeres las oportunidades que la vida nos ha dado, esto es una cadena y jamas debemos permitir romperla.
Gracias Claudia Gonzales por tu comentario yo envíe un correo a proyecto poeta y aun no tengo respuesta :)
Gracias Erin aun no vendemos los productos en linea porque estamos formando a las mujeres en empresarial pero esperamos pronto estar ofreciendo productos locales por internet es la meta para este año. pero se necesitan fondos económicos para el proceso, estamos en busca de ellos.
Sue gracias por las fuerzas para continuar
Nicola gracias por tu comentario les compartí con algunas mujeres que había escrito sobre ellas en la web y se emocionaron mucho.
Contreas muchas gracias aqui te esperamos con los brazos abiertos :)
por eso mi compromiso de trabajar por las mujeres porque son las educadoras de cada generación.
gracias a todas por sus importantes comentarios he tratado de responder a cada mensaje pero por alguna razón el sistema no me lo permitió, espero que este si pueda ser publicado.
Un abrazo con toda la fuerza y energía para seguir en la lucha a cada una de ustedes, mi aprecio y mi respeto

Paola Vásquez de León
En todo amar y servir
Guatemala

Kjir's picture

Thank you for your commitment

Paola,

I truly admire the work you are doing! So many women are benefiting from your work in a way that empowers them to be very productive and contribute in meaningful ways. Meaningful contribution is so fulfilling and allows us to realize our full potential.

Thank you for your commitment to the success of women in your community!
Kjirsten

Alicia Garcia de León's picture

la fiesta de construir

Estimada Paola,

un gusto tomar contacto contigo.
Tus palabras me emocionan!! Gracias por compartir tus sueños y apuestas!!
Cuánto hay para hacer, cuanto valor tiene el esfuerzo se impone a las dificultades, a veces muchas...

Tengamos la certeza de que estamos en camino y considera que aunque lejos en términos geográficos estamos juntas en la fiesta de construir.

Va un abrazo para ti desde el otros extremo del continente ;-)

Alicia Ma.

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