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The Need

Mercado Global empowers indigenous women to overcome poverty and become agents of change in their communities.

WHY WOMEN?

• Women invest 90 cents of every dollar they make back into the health, nutrition and education of their families. Investing in them goes beyond helping individuals to support overall community development.

• Empowering women “may well be the highest-return investment available in the developing world,” according to leading economists. Female education has been linked to higher wages; reduced mortality rates; and better community-wide health and education.

• Rural indigenous women suffer extreme racial and sexual discrimination, hindering their ability to find employment and take on leadership roles.

WHY GUATEMALA?

• 75% of indigenous Guatemalans live below the poverty line, and 58% live in extreme poverty (the equivalent of US$1.25 per day).

• 2 in 3 indigenous children go to bed hungry every night – the highest rate of malnutrition in the Western hemisphere and fourth-highest globally.

• Indigenous children attend school, on average, for just 1.9 years. Those in school are more likely to drop out without attaining literacy than non-indigenous students.

WHY NOW?