In 2014-2015 the Boris and Ināra Teterev Foundation supported a project implemented by Global Fairness Initiative in GuatemalaThe Sololá Agro-Industry Initiative (SAII) empowered indigenous Mayan producers by improving agriculture production value, strengthening economic opportunities, and building local leadership capacity in communities of Sololá, Guatemala.  

Through our local partner, CEIBA, the project targeted rural, indigenous Kachiquel women and other stakeholders to leverage participation and provide opportunities for small-scale famers to improve their quality of life and increase incomes. Project objectives included improving production inputs and promoting skills and technical capacity that addressed organic farming practices and increased quality and value. The project promoted market linkages through trainings and market resources for beneficiaries and empowered participants with knowledge on human rights.  

The project aimed to improve food security and establish new market opportunities while engaging a variety of stakeholders and building indigenous leadership capacity. The project reached more than 200 people that participated in 24 trainings, 12 women self-help groups were established, involving 140 participants, 7 communities received 24 water pumps and drip irrigation systems.  

Native communities throughout Central America have historically fallen victim to an institutional process of disenfranchisement. Mayan communities in Guatemala are largely comprised of unregistered farmers, 60% of whose means of subsistence are extremely limited. Statistics indicate that in Guatemala seven out of ten members of native communities live in poverty. Uneven land and inaccessible roads have long accentuated the disenfranchisement of local inhabitants.