UPAVIM is a self-run cooperative of women in La Esperanza, Guatemala that provides leadership opportunities, greater economic independence and education for the members and their families. It represents a colorful beacon of hope and pride for many in La Esperanza.
Founded in 1989, UPAVIM creates and sells colorful, handcrafted products for markets around the world. Sales of UPAVIM’s fair trade goods directly support the cooperative, a full-day kindergarten through 6th grade school, daycare, and a Montessori-based preschool. UPAVIM’s success in La Esperanza has also fueled the development of a health clinic, tutoring program, local bakery and more.
Facing poverty, crime and violence throughout their neighborhoods, the more than 60 women that represent UPAVIM find not only solidarity in a safe space but also a community of love, hope and purpose that aspires to produce generational improvements for one another.