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Clothing Store

When a local non-profit organization closed down and left the small village of Lupita, the women in the village who worked with the non-profit were left without a source of income and a way to provide for their families.  Located an hour’s walk away from the municipality of Santo Domingo, Suchitpequez, the people in Lupita often have to travel by foot or bicycle to Santo Domingo to purchase household necessities.

 

Witnessing the vulnerability of the women who were dependent on the local non-profit for income, MGV teamed up with the women affected to generate an idea for a small business that could become stable and self-sustaining for the women.  Recognizing the need for a clothing store closer to the community, MGV provided the women with financial assistance to purchase their first inventory of clothing and acquire a space to sell their goods in November 2010.  The women saw tremendous success and quickly sold through the entirety of the first inventory, which provided the women with the funds to purchase another full inventory and turn their first recorded profit.

 

 

Like all MGV-sponsored women’s businesses, the success of the business and the profits gained provide the women with a sense of empowerment through decision-making opportunities in the work place and at home as well as improved financial health.  Women like Simona Perez, who work in the store, have found that the store has significantly benefitted her family and her community.

 

 

Twice widowed and now a single mother, Simona works on the family land to grow food for her children and has a small electric mill that community members pay merely cents to use.  Other family members contribute through their work in the nearby banana planation but earn extremely low wages.  Relying on this small income and subsistence farming is hardly enough for Simona and her family to get by, not to mention educating her children.  However, with the collaboration of MGV, she now works at the clothing store in Lupita where she is able to earn her own stable income.  After successfully selling the entire stock of merchandise purchased with the start-up costs provided by MGV, the store has been able to purchase additional merchandise and turn a profit – enough for Simona to pay for her two sons’ junior high and high school education costs for the coming year.

 

 

The benefit of the store extends beyond Simona, her family, and the two other families that work there.  The store has positively impacted the community by providing local access to clothing that families would otherwise have to travel to the nearest town to purchase.  Now families in Lupita can save money on travel and purchase clothes locally, therefore allowing mothers throughout the community to put more money towards food for their families, education for their children, and other household necessities.