In Her Words: Disrupting the Poverty Cycle

Dear Ibu Allies,

My name is Lidia García, and I am the Guatemala Director at Mercado Global, a nonprofit accessory brand dedicated to transforming the lives of Indigenous women and their communities in rural Latin America through entrepreneurship. For over 20 years, our mission has been to empower these women by providing them with essential tools and education needed to thrive financially.
            
My journey with Mercado Global began in 2007, driven by a passion for education and social change. Growing up in Patanatic, a small village near Panajachel, Guatemala, I witnessed firsthand the struggles of my family and community. Despite my mother's early orphanhood and lack of formal education, she emphasized its importance, inspiring me to fight against the cycle of poverty and educational deprivation within our communities.
Our organization impacts more than 5,000 individuals across Guatemala. Through our network of cooperatives, we provide ongoing support through various initiatives, such as our Community-Based Education program, where artisans enhance their leadership and business skills through training conducted in local Indigenous languages. Our Market Access program connects highly skilled Indigenous artisans, proficient in ancient Mayan weaving techniques, with international sales opportunities through major retailers. We also provide technical training to help women improve their weaving and sewing skills. Furthermore, our Asset Development program equips women with essential tools, such as sewing machines and backstrap looms, enabling them to fulfill orders for international retailers through Mercado Global and start their own local businesses.

Despite challenges such as systemic barriers for women and access to remote populations, the ripple effect of our work is profound. When women gain financial independence, they reinvest in their families and communities, leading to improved educational opportunities for children—especially girls—better health outcomes, and stronger local economies. Our work also helps preserve traditional crafts and cultural heritage, ensuring these skills are passed down to future generations.  
The Ibu Movement has supported Mercado Global through their purchases, enabling us to expand our programs and reach more women in need. Additionally, they have shared our mission through diverse communication channels, which is crucial for building community. Their dedication to elevating women aligns seamlessly with ours, and their support has undoubtedly sparked positive change in numerous communities.

To the customers and donors of the Ibu Movement, I want to express my deepest gratitude. Your support makes a tangible difference in the lives of artisan women around the world. By choosing to support them and us, you are helping to create a brighter future for thousands of women, their families, and their communities. Thank you for joining a movement of women worldwide rising into self-authorized lives and for being part of this
transformative journey.
Warm regards,
Lidia García