Pixan Awarded Grant from the Inter American Foundation
The Highland Support Project designed an innovative program for the Association of Highland Women to assist rural women obtain access to international markets. The House of Design Pixan received a grant from the Inter American Foundation (IAF) in October, 2010. This grant will allow Pixan to coordinate the development of technical abilities of artisans in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. The Pixan program will continue the transformational methodology focusing on self-esteem, education, civic participation and free enterprise development. The grant from the IAF will provide Pixan with funding for three years and guide them on the path towards the creation of a sustainable artisan program. To ensure sustainability, Pixan is dedicated to teaching the participants new methods to improve their products, how to market their products, and create a direct trade marketing strategy.
Juanita Hernandez and Catarina Tuy Tzep, the coordinators of the Pixan, have recently finished a series of surveys they gave to the artisans who wished to be a part of the program. The survey was meant to measure their skills as artisans, while at the same time, learn about their hopes, aspirations and concerns, as women. Catarina says that the assessment was a success. The women were very excited about the thought of being businesswomen,” with the possibility of selling things as far away as Europe”. One participant noted, “My entire life had been a struggle; now this organization, Pixan, is taking my hands and showing me how to use them for a future of success”.