I know the people in Women Work Together (WWT), and I have watched the organization develop since it's inception. They are a truly wonderful group of people doing fabulous grassroots work with women and girls in Guatemala. If you speak Spanish and are interested in volunteer work in Latin America, this is a great organization to work with. It's an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of women and girls in Guatemala. And if you are not in a position to be a hands on volunteer, but are looking for quality, grassroots organizations to support, then WWT is a great place to invest your financial resources.
I went to San Pedro with WWT last March (2010). As someone who has traveled a good deal in Latin America, I can tell you the work they are doing is pretty unique. By partnering with a local government committed to changing the lives of rural indigenous women and girls, WWT is able provide real empowerment tools and make leaders of the women and girls they train. In a few short years, they have been able to touch so many lives, providing concrete ways for local people to visualize a different future and change their communities.
I began my work with Women Work Together (Mujeres Trabajan Unidas) more than two years ago as the organization's very first volunteer. To say that my experience with the organization has exceeded my expectations would be an understatement. Not only does the drive and savvy of the team push me and motivate me as a volunteer, but the amazing results touch my heart in ways other volunteer experiences haven't come close. After the last leadership institute, I had numerous mother's approach me near tears saying how grateful they are for everything we've done and how they are happy their daughters are given an opportunity to grow in ways that they were never able to.The founders identified a real need not only in Guatemala but also in the development field in general and I am confident that the organization will continue to grow.
I am now halfway through my first year of law school and just spent my spring break volunteering for the organization a second time. Although the days I spent there were hard work and I can't say that I managed to make up sleep like many of my classmates, I can say I was rejuvenated in a different way. There is a lesson innately different in seeing leadership power, ideas, and confidence grow than in studying how it grows in school. At the institute we are constantly impressed with how thoughtful girls are with their ideas about fostering community growth and how they can be a part of it. Most of all, I think the girls are impressed with themselves and with each other...making the experience more memorable for the girls and the leadership community self-thriving. The girls aren't the only one's who are changed after the institutes...these experiences motivate me through any given school day and will also motivate me throughout my career.