Yabal is more than a textile business, we are a social enterprise! This means that the WHY of what we do is based on helping our partner communities thrive! This includes providing fair trade jobs to women weavers, educational scholarships to their children, maternity leave for weavers, and most recently, food security projects like this year’s Women’s Garden Program!
The idea for the Garden Program began last year, during the Covid quarantine, when the Guatemalan government shut down transportation and commercial centers for 5 months. Yabal’s rural communities were left without access to markets in order to buy their food- leading Yabal to organize emergency food donation drop offs in order to allow families to survive during that difficult time. A group of women from Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan asked for Yabal’s help to create a local source of fresh food in their communities to prevent this type of crisis in the future, and thus the Women’s Garden Program was born! Not only did the women want a source of local fresh food for their community, but they were interested in turning this garden into a cooperative business and produce store as another source of income for their families. Yabal created a year-long program to teach them business and administration skills, organic vegetable cultivation, and to accompany them weekly as they manage the harvest and develop their business.
The weekly program, beginning in January 2021, includes business and administration workshops that teach women basic math and accounting such as how to calculate prices, costs, and profits, marketing and presentation of products, customer service, division of roles within the group, and more. This knowledge is important as the women run and collectively manage their produce store.
Organic Agriculture Workshops
We converted 1 acre of an abandoned lot into fertile farmland! The women learned how to make compost, build fences and gates, prepare the soil beds, plan the planting and harvesting cycles, treat pests organically.
Community members have seen the quality of vegetables that the women are growing without chemicals and now come daily to purchase vegetables! So far, the women continually sell out of each weekly harvest.