Amigos de Santa Cruz
Since 1998, Amigos de Santa Cruz Foundation has been working to help break the generational cycle of poverty among the indigenous people of Santa Cruz la Laguna, Guatemala and its surrounding villages. Through support for education, better health, a clean environment, and sustainable economic development, Amigos de Santa Cruz is impacting more than 800 families.
Indigenous girls in rural Guatemala are often trapped in a cycle of poverty where they are forced to leave school to care for their families. Only 10 percent of these girls go beyond primary school and one in four gives birth before her 18th birthday.
Gloria is now 18 and is thinking about a different future for herself and her three-year-old daughter.
Gloria was in danger of getting stuck in that cycle. The fifth of 11 siblings, Gloria dropped out of school after the second grade to care for her younger siblings and support her family by selling her mother’s weavings on the streets. By the time she was 15, she was married and pregnant. Gloria is now 18 and is thinking about a different future for herself and her three-year-old daughter. She is taking classes at Centro de Capacitación (CECAP), Amigo’s vocational training center in Santa Cruz la Laguna, and is learning new skills, earning her own income by producing sewing products for sale in CECAP’s wholesale and retail shop, and increasing her self-confidence. For many women, CECAP provides an opportunity to earn dignity and self-respect, and envision a different life for themselves.