*This post was written by Hannah Sklar, director of Creamos*

Creamos was first introduced to the Blue Mayan Coffee team when they came to visit our project in 2017. Creamos is a Guatemalan non-profit that creates opportunities for women through an inclusive approach to foster safe and healthy family environments for those living in the community surrounding the Guatemala City garbage dump. The physical location of our offices can be alarming, as the harsh realities of the Guatemala City garbage dump are very much exposed.

After our first meeting, the Creamos team left feeling invigorated by BMC’s enthusiasm to support our organization. It is important to note that BMC’s form of “supporting” was different from many other companies’. From the beginning, BMC has been dedicated to understanding Creamos’ needs, and from there, they evaluated the most useful and sustainable form of support. A large part of BMC’s support throughout the past two years has been providing jobs for the women in our organization.

They have placed large-scale orders in Creamos’ recycled jewelry and sewing programs. Serving the larger mission of Creamos, Blue Mayan Coffee has most recently dedicated its support to Creamos’ Financial Literacy Program. Creamos’ financial literacy training began in 2015. We started with a 6-week curriculum in which women were taught the basics of saving, budgeting, bank services, and debt management. To date, over 60 women have graduated from our financial literacy training.

Shortly after our first groups graduated from the program, we noticed that women had discontinued the savings habits they had fostered during training. We decided to ask the women themselves what they needed to do to reinstate the savings habits they had lost.

Creamos then decided to pilot a matched savings program which proved to be highly successful. Through Blue Mayan Coffee’s support, Creamos participants will be encouraged and incentivized to open bank accounts through formal institutions and make regular transactions. Creamos feels that this is an essential step for our women to achieve financial freedom. Opening formal bank accounts will eliminate the risk of women carrying large sums of cash in their community, while also increasing participants financial independence. By the end of 2019, Creamos plans to have graduated over 100 women from the program, while also supporting 100 women who will receive bank accounts in formal financial institutions.

Creamos wholeheartedly believes that our collaboration with Blue Mayan Coffee will be a long-lasting partnership. Blue Mayan Coffee has taken the time to understand the intricacies of Creamos and is committed to continuing to support our long-term vision. We look forward to future projects and watching the evolution and growth of the women of Creamos through Blue Mayan Coffee’s Support.

 

You can now directly donate towards supporting Creamos Futuros when you pay on our checkout page!