I år var jeg i Chiapas og så med egne øjne nogle af de projekter, som Mujeres de Maíz har startet der. Det var en stor oplevelse at konstatere, at projekterne ikke blot hjælper de mennesker, der er involveret, men også griber om sig og sætter ny ting i værk. Samtidig er det også vigtigt at se, hvordan projekterne er integreret som en naturlig del af og fortsættelse af pigernes og kvindernes liv. De får ikke en amerikansk uddannelse, men lærer at hjælpe sig selv og andre med den uddannelse, som de har valgt i det mexikanske system. Desuden var det for mig vigtigt at se hvor uselvisk og effektivt de frivillige amerikanere fungerer i den mexikanske verden.
This organization is unique in that it supports a multitude of areas: the arts, women's rights, protecting native culture, education, and social justice all in one! By donating or volunteering with this organization you are able to see the fruits of your labor go directly to those in need--the women themselves, rather than going through the politics of a larger nonprofit with a bunch of middleman "hidden" fees that strip the donation down only to a small direct portion. This organization donates what it says! This nonprofit organization has a mission to spread through money, resources and volunteer time--to enhance qualities of life all humanity should experience: education, healthcare, emotional wellbeing and hope for a better future. Knowing many of the board members of this organization well, I can assure you that this organization is only going to grow bigger, hleping more women in need each year. Please join their movement and donate! Thank you.
This past year, I read Executive Director Judith Pasco's Book "Somewhere for my soul to go"about her journey to create the Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation and it inspired me in my own journey to create a children's education program. The compassion, humor and humility that this organization embodies is fantastic and an inspiration to our local and global community. I hope we can all link together in helping each other, one pair of reading glasses, one composting toilet, and one community dinner at a time. I have enjoyed every one of the Mujeres de Maiz fundraising events I have attended, it is always a fun, relaxing and well organized event. Thank you for the work you do.
I love this organization. The donations they receive go directly to helping the women and girls in the Guatemalan cooperative. I have traveled with this organization as well to see some of the rural communities affected by their work and was impressed with the professionalism and compassion towards these communities. I highly recommend this group for anyone wishing to donate, get involved or travel with this group.
After returning from a trip to Chiapas in 2011 with a few board members and others like me who were curious about this vibrant non-profit Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Fund, I amazed myself: I created my first digital photo album! I wanted to tell everyone I knew what an incredible, insightful, inspiring, dynamic program this is. How could I introduce my friends to Yollie, Juana, America, Christina, and other young women who now go to school and university because they have earned scholarships, who mentor children and adults in their own communities, who are learning how to create economic opportunities through computer skills, who share knowledge about health-care practices in their home towns, who support each other in recognizing their dignity and self-worth and their right to be respected and to participate in making decisions that affect their lives and families? And this photo story needs to be in bright colors, because these women also work long hours as weavers, on backstrap looms, kneeling on the ground, creating apparel of exceptional beauty.
The story of Mujeres de Maiz keeps spreading because we can't stay quiet about it; and now I have a story book in living color to share!
My husband and I have been casual supporters of Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation for four years because we have listened to and been impressed by the story from the founder, board members, and other participants in our community. It is an amazing opportunity to participate in conversations and contributions and activities with a group of people who are passionate about the people they serve, who know these people personally, and who engage with them in discerning the projects that will best achieve the Foundation's goals. Then, this past December, I traveled to Chiapas, Mexico, with several other supporters and a couple of Board members, on a tour arranged and led by Judith Pasco, Founder. We celebrated the Guadalupana with the women of the cooperative; we visited several of the communities; we participated in the Saturday school program that two of the Mujeres scholarship participants have established in their home town; we sat down to lunch in one of the homes around a gaily painted table; we watched a demonstration of weaving with a back-strap loom, which many fo the women use to make products for sale to support their schooling and families; we noticed that some of the women now wear eyeglasses because a need was identified and subsequently eye exams were provided and glasses supplied as prescribed; and we met with the on-site coordinator who represents the Foundation and brings the Mayan women of Chiapas and the women of Sequim, Washington together to create and nurture opportunities for higher education, better health, and improved economic opportunity. Now I know that what "Mujeres" is achieving in partnership with these Mayan women of Chiapas is so much more than what I had expected, and the experience enriches every participant. I can never again be a "casual" supporter.
Mujeres de Maiz exemplifies grass roots organization; it is a small group of very hard working and dedicated people who have an absolutely clear vision of their mission. They work long hours to raise money and fairly distribute it to the indigenous women of Chiapas with yard sales, musical and holiday presentations, dinners, solicitations of donations, newsletters. The women of Chiapas must design the projects that require funding they request and remain accountable for the success of the projects. Equally, the small size of Mujeres de Maiz keeps it accountable to the community that supports it. I believe that not a dollar is wasted.
As the first Board Secretary (who resigned after five years for health reasons), the opportunity to be a part of the formation and growth of Mujeres de Maiz Opportunity Foundation has been a life-enriching experience. Watching the women and girls in the cooperative in Chiapas that we partner with take advantage of educational opportunities and become more self-confident and competent over the years means that our foundation is living up to its mission statement and helping to change more and more women's lives for the better. This quote by Larry Summers, economist, expresses my sentiments: "Investment in girls' education may well be the highest return investment available in the developing world."
These are local, non-professional "folks" who give considerable amounts of time AND money to make a difference in the world - Year after year after year - 1 human being at a time.