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7 Ways Our Small Business Program Fosters High-Impact Entrepreneurship

Women face significant obstacles and inequalities in the workplace—we know this—and indigenous women in Guatemala face even more disadvantages. Ninety percent of Guatemalan adolescents receive no job-readiness training. In a country where roughly half the population is Mayan, only 12 percent of small businesses’ employees are indigenous. We call the young women in our program…

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Meet Dolores Lacan Ratzan, a Girl Pioneer from Santiago

This is Dolores Lacan from Starfish’s Bridge Program in Santiago Atitlán.  Dolores has been a part of the Starfish family for 4 years now and is in the mentorship group, “Estrellas Marinas” (Marine Stars).  She is 16 years old, in the 10th grade, and full a many hopes and dreams for her future.  Her goal…

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Andrea – Santiago mentor, graduate program and internship program coordinator

Andrea embodies the “go get it” attitude of her hometown, Santiago Atitlan. As the largest indigenous run town in Central America, Tzutujil is spoken as a first language and Spanish is learned in schools. Andrea’s can-do spirit makes her invaluable in her role as the internship program supervisor, advocating and offering feedback for all students…

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Maria – Starfish pioneer, what it means to survive and thrive

When Hurricane Stan hit Guatemala in 2005, it came with brutal force. The torrential rains caused landslides on the steep volcanic topography around Lake Atitlan. Maria found herself caught in a landslide. Buried up to her neck in mud, it was hours before her family found her and began to dig her out. Her family…

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Case Stories: Ana Elvira

Meet Ana Elvira, one of the girls in the Starfish mentorship group “Corazones de Mar” (Heart of the Sea). She is 15 now and more than halfway through the 8th grade year. Though it takes her a while to get from her village to the mentoring space in Solola, she looks forward to spending time…

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Stories from the field: meeting Karen and Nicolasa

Recently, two teenage sponsors and their family visited Guatemala and the Starfish offices. They got to meet the girls they have been sponsoring for many years and their lives were changed. Following is their experience in their own words: Nikki: “When I heard that my family and I were traveling to Guatemala, I could barely…

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The value of educating girls

We recently received this letter from a couple volunteering in Panajachel that sums up the importance of Starfish One by One: “The other night we were having dinner at typical outdoor restaurant.  One of the (many) women who stopped at our table to sell bracelets, woven cloth, etc. struck up a conversation with us in…

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When Yolanda was in 3rd grade she knew she wanted to do something really different with her life but she hadn’t been born into a family that promoted “out of the box” thinking. Challenged with many obstacles in her personal life, Yolanda gave up and hit rock bottom. In the end her strength, almost extinguished,…

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Meet Lorena

Three years ago, Lorena was a typical 14 year-old girl in rural Guatemala. She hid her poor self-esteem by energetically begging tourists for handouts. Her posture betrayed her though. She walked slumped over almost like the men in her community who have to carry heavy loads of firewood. In 2008, Lorena became a member of…

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