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Caribbean Development Bank assists indigenous women to gain income in Belize

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Posted: Thursday, June 23, 2022. 3:23 pm CST.

Photo: Xe’il Belize

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) is providing financial support for the successful Fahina project of the Sarstoon-Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM).

The funding for the Fahina project is administered by the CDB’s Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises Unit.

The initiative was first led by Belize’s now Governor-General, Froyla Tzalam, and had been the beneficiary of a US$130, 000 grant under the Bank’s Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund (CIIF).

The project’s work now continues and is being led by Maya Choc, the new Executive Director of SATIIM.

Through the project, Maya women are now benefitting from consistent and sustainable income while boosting their economic independence.

The women receive basic training in entrepreneurship, marketing, elements of intellectual property, and the manufacturing processes for various types of apparel — these women are now empowered to dream big!

“Through this project, we’ve found there was a need to assist the women with pricing these things. They were also underselling, and this embroidery can take sometimes up to two weeks or a month to produce,” Choc explained.

Choc says that through the project, women are also briefed on how valuable their work is to Mayan traditional practices.

SATIIM thanked the CDB for the support.

 “In addition to the embroidery, several Mayan women from nearby communities have been trained and employed to sew. For most of them it is their first foray into the formal workforce,” Choc said.

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