• Located south of Mexico, Guatemala has more than 16 million people, making it the most populous in Central America. 
  • It is a country shaped by ancient civilizations, volcanoes, and earthquakes. 
  • It has the highest poverty rate in Latin America.  Nearly one-half of Guatemalan children under age five are chronically malnourished, one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world
  • The average years of schooling for a Guatemalan totals under 5 years and 39.8% of Guatemalan women are illiterate. 

Trades of Hope is changing these statistics by partnering with the talented artisans of Guatemala. Because of this, the women of Guatemala are providing for their families, given the opportunity to attend school and learn basic principles that will help them move ahead in life. We also partner with a safe home for girls who are receiving structured learning programs full of practical skills that help them become self-reliant and financially independent. As the girls come of age, they are given an opportunity to begin work as an artisan crafting beautiful products.

Pictured above is a group of CEs celebrating this partnership in Guatemala.


 While in the safe home, Illma was known for being quiet and shy. She never liked taking charge because she did not want to deal with conflict. This was one of her biggest fears. After being empowered out of the safe home, Illma was able to conquer this fear. She is now so excited about her management position at the group where she oversees the production and shipment of more than 1,500 units of items. 
Her success has even allowed her to care for her family! Illma’s family  was in need for a sustainable way to survive. Instead of giving her family money, a common and hurtful practice, she bought some land and had her family farm it. This way her family would always have food and a business to thrive. 
Illma can now see herself as a confident business woman.

Rosa is a remarkable young woman. She had fled a hard life with her infant daughter that left her very shy and wary of strangers. Completely dependent on the kindness of a stranger, Rosa was led to our partnered safe home, where she found love, shelter and security for herself and her daughter.

In the beginning, she kept to herself and didn’t interact with others. It wasn’t until she was able to show others her talent for creating beautiful, detailed charms that Rosa began to come out of her shell. She now feels accepted and loved, enabling her to love others. Rosa now designs the groups most intricate charms, a challenge she proudly embraces as a professional young woman whose spirit is healing through sustainable business. Hers is a story of endurance, strength, beauty and blossoming.