Mazahui A.C. is a private non-profit organization that benefits disadvantaged indigenous women located in a small community near the village of Valle de Bravo, México. Guiding them to create innovative products that prominently feature their native art skills, embroideries, Mazahui empowers these indigenes to work in a more productive manner whilst preserving their ethnic background, culture and ancestor traditions, all without having to leave their families and community.
Mazahua women live in terrible conditions and have to take their children with them to sell their products in the streets of Valle de Bravo, the closest town to their community with a relatively high tourism affluence. Others stay at home working the fields and send their children into town to sell their embroideries, many of them less than 8 years old. During high tourism season, women come into town and usually live and sleep in the streets for weeks at a time, exposing themselves and their children to many dangers and sicknesses. Most have to beg for food.
Mazahui has two main projects to benefit these indigenous women. The first project is comprised of a store and a workshop. The store is located in the main avenue of Valle de Bravo, the prime shopping zone of town, to commercialize the women’s products. The workshop is provisioned with the necessary equipment to create modern and attractive products with their embroideries.
The second project focuses on education. Leveraging the workshop where women and children congregate, diverse conferences, workshops and hands on training classes occur in a regular basis, with topics covering general education, health and conservation of the environment. Basic food and health supply kits are given to them as an incentive for their participation in these activities.
To date the organization has helped these Mazahua women and children by increasing the quality of their products to become marketable but more importantly it has reduced the risks they normally take by having to leave their community to commercialize them. Currently, because its projects are self-sustainable, Mazahui can only afford to work with about 10% of the community’s women. With the award of The Body Shop grant, Mazahui will be able to increase the resources it employs in producing the different types of embroideries and therefore increase the number of women that it helps. In addition, the grant will enable an increased number of educational workshops in the community, bringing highly trained professionals to deliver the workshops and building quality support materials
The Mazahui’s target is to generate employment and economical support for Mazahua women, in order to avoid asking for alms. They could use the prize for 2 things: 1) The Project of sewing workshop and educative workshops. This includes the sewing workshop capacitating and founding for materials and instruments as well as the functioning of educative workshops for the indigenous women and children. And the acquisition of tools in order to achieve this goal. We worry about their necessities, and giving them the best life quality, do as well as providing the tools and skills for the sewing workshop and the educative workshop. 2) Mazahui could use SAP Technology to better manager their Finance, Inventory and Human Capital Management.