If you are familiar with Uxibal at all, then you already know that we have bigger plans than just making shoes. From the beginning, our goal has been to create economic opportunities and to empower women in Guatemala. We are currently doing this by employing indigenous female artisans who create the traditional textiles we incorporate into our footwear and accessories. Our model is working well, but we want to take our impact a step further. For that reason, we’ve recently joined up with SHEVA, a social enterprise based in Guatemala working to empower girls through technology.
We absolutely love what SHEVA is doing and we are very excited to have the opportunity to collaborate with them on something meaningful. Introducing our first “boot with a purpose” the SHEVA boot raises money to empower girls in Guatemala. For every boot we sell, we will be directing 30% of our profits to SHEVA’s to provide 20 young women with the opportunity to attend the technology training course for free!
WHY girls? It remains today in 2015 that only 26% of indigenous Guatemalan girls will still be in school at the age of 17. The statistics also reveal that 54% of these women will have a baby before they turn 20. This combination of little to no education and young motherhood make it very difficult for Mayan women to break the cycle of poverty and improve their own lives. At the same time, statistics show that when women do have opportunities to work, 90% of their earnings are re-invested into their families, improving things like education, nutrition, health, all improve as well, which is why it is important for girls to succeed.
“We believe that when girls have information and learn, they are able to make the right choices that will influence the rest of their lives, their family and their community.”
The Impact of Information. In Guatemala, smartphones are affordable and widely available. In fact, there are a lot of cases where people don’t have running water in their house, but they have a smartphone. SHEVA sees this as a really big opportunity. With access to the internet, they believe they can connect girls with the information that is out there for them to improve their own lives. The technology training course SHEVA provides, breaks it down for girls by introducing them to the internet; showing them how to utilize their smartphones as a research tool and teaches them how to surf the web for key subjects that will promote self-esteem, health, nutrition, and family planning. This course offers girls the opportunity to learn about things that interest them and pursue their own goals–a very empowering concept.