UPAVIM is an organisation that empowers women who live and work in La Esperanza, a community on the outskirts of Guatemala City. The name is an acronym for the Spanish phrase, "unidas para vivir mejor" and was chosen by the women themselves. It means "united for a better life".
Made up of over 75 women from marginalised communities, they create beautiful handicrafts from fabrics with traditional local colours and patterns. The women may be minorities, have special needs, live in high crime urban neighbourhoods or in rural indigenous areas. Sustainable employment gives them a safe haven of support, education, new opportunities and the dignity of being self-sufficient.
They are provided with healthcare for their families, childcare while they work and programmes for professional and personal development. Purchasing these beautiful products helps them become independent, support their families and prosper.