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Raised: 86%

Target: £1,600.00
Raised so far: £1,379.00

Fully funded

Great news - this project has reached its funding target. Thank you to everyone who donated. Search for another cause to support

Project run by

MADRE, An International Women's Human Rights Org., New York, United States

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Sustainable Chicken Farm for Guatemalan Women

MADRE partners with Muixil, a community based organization of Indigenous Ixil women in Guatemala. Together, we founded Farming for the Future, a collective income-generating project that provides the Ixil women living in poverty with economic independenc

What is the problem the project is addressing?

Indigenous Ixil women living in Quiche endured 36 years of civil war and today are among the poorest people in Guatemala. Many of the women have survived rape, torture, and forced displacement from their ancestral lands. Many widows and single mothers are the sole breadwinners for their households and most families don't earn enough to purchase basic necessities. This results in the highest infant mortality rate in Central America and one of the world's worst rates of malnutrition for children.

How will this project solve the problem?

Based on a community-centered model of micro-enterprise, MADRE establishes small chicken farms as a source of food security and income for Indigenous women in Quiche communities. This project improves families' diets by providing eggs for protein, generates income for women, and builds participants' technical and business skills. This in turn creates more economic opportunities for women and their families in Quiche.

What is the potential long-term impact of this project?

Farming for the Future empowers Ixil women with the necessary skills and resources to combat poverty in their communities. Higher incomes and improved quality of diets enables Ixil women to live healthy lives and become economically self-sufficient. Promoting the active participation of Ixil women in the political, social, and economic life of their community increases women's status, and reinforces their voices as community leaders.

Nov 25 2014

Thanks for all your support!


Thank you so much for supporting MADRE’s “Sustainable Chicken Farm for Guatemalan Women” project. With your help, MADRE and our Guatemalan sister organization Muixil established small chicken farms, creating a source of income and food security for over 50 Indigenous Ixil women. Your support also created opportunities for these women to learn about their human rights through MADRE-supported trainings. Because of you:

  • Women with no other source of income have gained economic self-sufficiency
  • By earning an income, women have improved their status within their families and communities. They are now in a stronger position to negotiate the distribution of work in the household and provide positive role models for their daughters and sons.
  • Nutrition is improving, which will ultimately boost maternal and infant survival rates and the overall health of the community.
  • Indigenous women are strengthened as leaders, coming together to attend human rights trainings and plan future community development projects.

On behalf of MADRE and Muixil, thank you for making all this possible!

I want to assure you that although this particular project is ending, MADRE’s partnership with Muixil is not. In fact, we’ll soon be launching a new project on GlobalGiving to support Muixil’s weaving cooperative. The cooperative will be a place for Ixil women to share traditional weaving practices with a younger generation of women, strengthening Ixil culture and community. Instructive sessions will also allow the cooperative to standardize the type and quality of the goods the women sell, enabling women to get a higher market value for their work. We hope to count on your continued support!

Aug 29 2014

Ixil Women Emerge as Community Leaders

Elizabeth Droggitis

When women can meet their community’s most basic needs for food, clean water, healthcare and more, it is just a first step. They are also empowered to step up as leaders. And the chicken farming project that you support through MADRE is making that happen.

MADRE runs a chicken farming project with Muixil, our partner organization in Guatemala. Through this project, Indigenous Ixil women receive tools and materials to run small chicken farms. This does more than supplement their families’ diets. It also paves their way towards economic independence by selling eggs and chickens at local markets.

Our partners report that they have gained more stability to provide for their families. Now, they are ready for the next step. The members of Muixil have begun to demand involvement in their community's decisions. They want to take action to effect positive changes.

However, in these Ixil communities, women have been typically excluded from political participation and decision-making spaces. This is because of discriminatory patriarchal values and the belief that a woman’s place is in the house.

The women at Muixil want to change that. They want to educate themselves on their rights, learn how to become leaders and advocate for their voices to be heard. And your support will help! Through a series of workshops to be held in the coming months, these women will learn about their civic participation. They will work to become recognized active leaders in their communities.

By doing so, these women will continue to fight for real social change and move towards a safer and healthier community. Your contribution is making a difference! Thank you so much for your support!

May 30 2014

Message from Ana Ceto

Elizabeth Droggitis

Earlier this month, we were happy to welcome Ana Ceto, leader of MADRE's Guatemala sister organization Muixil to New York! She was visiting to take part in a UN conference on Indigenous rights and to demand food security, political participation, and justice for the Ixil women of Guatemala.

MADRE's Program Director Natalia Caruso met up with Ana for a quick chat and update. Ana asked that we pass her thanks on to you for supporting this project, and we told her we would. Here is what she had to say:

"We want to thank MADRE and you for the support to make the chicken farms a reality for Indigenous women in the Ixil region. The partnership with MADRE gives us the opportunity of HOPE. We hope to continue working together to change the conditions in rural communities of Guatemala like we are doing with the chicken project and move beyond. Thank you for helping us."

Your support of this chicken project does more than provide food and extra income to women struggling with poverty. You give women the tools to build their own economic independence. They tell us that they feel empowered as they take steps towards a safer, healthier future.

Thanks so much for your support of this project!

Feb 28 2014

New Photos from MADRE's Chicken Farms in Guatemala

Elizabeth Droggitis

In December, MADRE was thrilled to let you know that the chicken farm project you support expanded to include an additional 50 Indigenous Ixil women from the Quiche region of Guatemala! Each woman has since received chickens and materials to build chicken coops. Ana Ceto, the leader of MADRE’s Guatemalan sister organization Muixil, recently sent photos of the distribution, which we are sharing with you now.

Because of your generous support, these women now have an extra food source and an income to feed their families, send their children to school, and improve their communities. Thanks so much for your support!

Dec 02 2013

The Chicken Farms are Expanding Even More!

Elizabeth Droggitis

We are extremely excited to let you know that thanks to your support, MADRE and Muixil, our Guatemalan sister organization, were able to expand our chicken farming project for the second time this year! An additional 50 Indigenous Ixil women participants from the Indigenous communities of Nebaj, Chajul and Cotzal will each receive three chickens and materials to build chicken coops. That means that this year alone, you have helped 100 women start their own chicken farms, securing food for their families and earning incomes to send their children to school – thank you!

We are also happy to report that the 50 Indigenous Ixil women who have been participating in the project since the spring of this year continue to successfully run their small chicken farms. Thanks to your support, this project continues to grow. Most importantly, it has ensured that impoverished Ixil women now have the means to provide for their families.

We look forward to sharing even more future successes from the chicken farming project!

Sep 03 2013

Photo update from MUIXIL

Elizabeth Droggitis

In June, we were very happy to let you know that MADRE and Muixil’s chicken farming project was expanding to three new communities, reaching 50 new women participants! And thanks to your continued support, we have even more great news to share!

The 50 Indigenous Ixil women have each received three chickens to establish their own small chicken farms. These women have been able to sell the eggs their chickens produced in local markets, providing a source of income and security for their families. Ana Ceto, director of MADRE’s sister organization Muixil, recently sent us photos from the chicken farming project. We’d like to share them with you now. And we hope to bring you even more exciting updates from this growing project, thanks to your support!

Jun 03 2013

The chicken project is expanding!

Elizabeth Droggitis

Ana Ceto, director of MADRE’s Guatemalan sister organization Muixil, recently met with the coordinators of the chicken cooperative project to discuss expansion of the project in three communities in the Quiché region of Guatemala: Nebaj, Chajul, and Cotzal. During the meeting, Ana, along with coordinators Catarina and Engracia, identified 50 women that would benefit from participation in the project. Each woman will receive chickens to establish small chicken farms as a source of food security as well as income. In addition to receiving chickens, each woman who participates in the program will also partake in human rights trainings and business skills classes. Based on a community-centered model of micro-enterprise, this collective income-generating project not only provides Indigenous Ixil women living in poverty with economic independence and food security, but it empowers them to demand their political rights.

Here is a photo of the Muixil coordinators at their planning meeting. Doña Catarina is on the far left; Doña Engracia is second to the left; and Ana Ceto is on the far right.

Mar 04 2013

Photo Update from MUIXIL

Elizabeth Droggitis

Thanks to your generous support, MADRE was recently able to send funds to MUIXIL in support of their programming with local, Indigenous Ixil women. The donation went towards maintaining the chicken farming project, organizing a human rights training, and holding a meeting for the women to learn important business and technical skills. Ana Ceto, leader of our partner organization MUIXIL, sent us new photos from the chicken farms project and the recent trainings and meetings. We’d like to share those photos with you now. 


Photo 1: Women participants in MUIXIL’s chicken farming project proudly show off their chickens. The chicken farms offer food security and a source of income for these women and their families.

Photo 2: In their recent human rights training, Ixil women from Muixil were trained on women's political participation. At the trainings, the women discussed the importance of actively participating at the community level on issues related to women and families as well as how to be an example to children and youth.

Dec 04 2012

MUIXIL Weaving Cooperative

Elizabeth Droggitis

Ana Ceto, the leader of our Guatemalan sister organization MUIXIL, visited MADRE this year and brought with her many beautiful, handcrafted items made by the Indigenous Ixil women she works with in her community.  In collaboration with her chicken farming project, this local weaving cooperative allows for additional income-generation and enables women to feed their families and send their children to school. The project also serves as a way to preserve local Indigenous history and cultural identity, using designs that have been handed down over thousands of years and that convey generations of stories, mythologies, spirituality and history. Currently, 45 women between the ages of 15 and 60 participate in the weaving cooperative.

Sep 04 2012

Ana's Story

Elizabeth Droggitis

As a very young child in the northern highlands of Guatemala, Ana Ceto grew up at the height of a civil war, in an area where that war was most fiercely fought. Human rights abuses, especially against Indigenous Peoples, were widespread. She saw fields rich with produce and effort burned to nothing. Food was scarce and violence everywhere.

At 18, Ana began her work to demand human rights. She struggled to document the identities of displaced people rebuilding their lives. She worked with organizations to identify victims. She collected testimonies from survivors of massacres.

At 23, Ana, along with other community members, founded Muixil, a grassroots organization of Indigenous Mayan women working together to promote the health, well-being and rights of their families and communities.

Today, the vibrant colors of traditional weaving dance before her eyes when she gathers the wares produced by the women’s weaving cooperative in her home of El Quiche. Chickens cackle and cluck in the yards of Indigenous women in the community, many of them widows and single mothers. With help from Muixil, these projects help women build independence and economic self-sufficiency. They sell their weavings at market, and chickens produce eggs to sell and for their families to eat. Many mothers use the money they raise to send their children to school.

Ana herself is a mother of three small children. She knows how important it is to be able to provide for her children, put food on the table and send them to school—a right Ana had to fight hard for.

MADRE and Muixil also work together to help Indigenous women participate in political processes.

Recently, Ana testified before the United Nations Human Rights Committee, as they reviewed Guatemala’s human rights record. She described flagrant violations inflicted on Indigenous Peoples and women. She lent an impassioned voice to the findings of  the “Report on Violations of Women’s Human Rights in Guatemala” submitted to the Committee by MADRE, Muixil and other human rights groups.

“MADRE has given us strong support. You gave us the first funds for the weaving cooperative and made this trip to New York possible. We are very thankful,” she told the MADRE staff after her testimony at the UN.

Jun 11 2012

Bonus Day for our Sustainable Chicken Farm Project

Erica Hellerstein

Want your donation dollars to have the greatest possible impact?

On June 13, starting at 12:01 am EST, GlobalGiving is sponsoring a special “Bonus Day,” where every donation you make to MADRE and Muixil’s “Sustainable Chicken Farm for Guatemalan Women” project will be matched by 50 percent— greatly increasing the impact of your generous donations!

MADRE works with Muixil, a grassroots group of Indigenous Ixil women in Guatemala. Together, we created Farming for the Future, establishing small chicken farms as a source of income and nutrition for Ixil women and their families.

Your support of this project will enable us to continue our crucial work with Muixil. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to make your donation go even further, and donate today!

Mar 15 2012

Amplifying the Voices of Ixil Women

Erica Hellerstein

Before the war, Dona Catarina Matom lived peacefully with her two daughters and husband in Nebaj,

But escalating violence and war soon spread to her village. Soldiers brutally plundered homes and then
set them ablaze. Escaping violence, Dona and her family fled to the mountains—where they faced
disease, sickness, cold and extreme hunger.

After weeks of hiding, they relocated to Caba Chajul, Guatemala. “We were chased by soldiers, we
always tried to hide. There were constant bombings. My daughter Rosa was good and healthy but one day
I can not remember which, a bomb fell near my daughter Rosa and now she is currently deaf,” said Dona.

In Caba Chajul, Dona’s husband was captured by soldiers. She struggled to raise her daughters on her
own, constantly worrying about how to provide them with food. Often, they were forced to subsist off a
meager diet of wilted herbs and plants.

But Dona no longer has to worry about how she will feed her children. Now, she has the essential skills
and resources to provide for her family, thanks to your support through GlobalGiving’s Sustainable
Chicken Farm for Guatemalan Women project.

MADRE works with Muixil, a community based organization of Indigenous Ixil women in
Guatemala. Together, MADRE and Muixil created Farming for the Future, a collective income-
generating project that provides the Ixil women living in poverty with economic independence
and food security and empowers them to demand their political rights.

When the sustainable chicken farming project began in 2007, Muixil and MADRE were
able to provide 30 women with chickens, but over the years the project has increased
substantially. Over the past year, at least 48 women (16 from each of the three communities)
have participated in and benefited from the chicken project. Additionally, the sustainable chicken
farms have provided food security, better nutrition, and a means of generating small amounts of
income for the families involved.

“Before, I was very poor and scared, I never spoke…But Muixil accepted me and I participate in
trainings, meetings and now participate in the community and I have no fear. I know I have the same
rights as men. I received the support from MUIXIL and I thank all the women who help us in other
countries far away,” said Dona.

Dec 14 2011

Project Update from MUIXIL

Erica Hellerstein

“We represent Ixil women living in poor communities. We don't have enough money to send our children to school, but we have benefited from the chickens. More women from the community would like to be able to receive chickens and feed their families. Many of the women who see how the chicken project is improving their lives and would also like to be able to be a part of the project.” – Doña Maria Victoria, from Chajul community - El Quiche, Guatemala.

Sep 15 2011

Indigenous Women Organize around Guatemalan Elections

Maria Trimble

After last Sunday’s elections in Guatemala, the top presidential candidates are heading for a run-off—and MADRE is working with our sister organization Muixil to make sure that Indigenous Mayan women’s voices are heard. With the MADRE support that you made possible, Muixil held voter education workshops for women in the geographically isolated region of El Quiche, to teach them about their opportunities for political participation.

Indigenous Peoples, particularly the Quiche region, were deliberately targeted with violence and human rights violations during Guatemala’s decades of civil war. Thousands of women and families were displaced. These communities have long been cut off from political decision-making, denied the education, resources and access to participate fully in elections.

In these voter education workshops, our partners at Muixil informed participants about each presidential candidate and their policy proposals. They provided Indigenous women with vital information about the documents they would need and the steps to take to cast their vote.

As Guatemala moves to elect a new president, women are organizing to make sure their needs are met and their demands are heard. Thank you for helping give them the tools to make their voices heard!

Photo Credit: MADRE

Aug 09 2011

How a Chicken Can Send a Girl to School

Yifat Susskind

When MADRE staff recently traveled to Guatemala, we spent time with our sister organization MUIXIL, an Indigenous women’s group in the rural highlands. Since 2007, with your help, we have supported a women’s chicken farming project, helping to meet women’s need for sustainable income in deeply impoverished Indigenous communities. We’re happy to announce that the project is growing!  

With the generous support of MADRE members, we were able to send a contribution to MUIXIL, enabling them to purchase 48 baby chickens and the supplies to build new chicken coops. The chickens and coops will help create a new future for women and their families in three different communities. With the eggs, women can give their children protein-rich meals, selling extra eggs to raise money.

For one woman named Rosa, who never went to school because of turmoil caused by the decades-long civil war, the chickens have meant that she is able to break the cycle and send her own young daughter to school. "Because of the war I never went to school for even one day. My biggest hope now is that my daughter will finish school. I have the chickens from MADRE now and that means better food for my daughter. We get a little money from the eggs each week. I put it in my secret place and I use it to buy pencils and books for her. I know her life will be better."