As the newly hired Admin Manager for UCDF, I was eager to visit the UPAVIM headquarters and see the projects first hand. So earlier this year, with my husband and 9-month-old daughter in tow, we made the trip to La Esperanza in the red zone of Guatemala City, where UPAVIM is located.
Originally from the US, the gringo part of my mind had the doubt of whether it would be too much of an annoyance, too "unprofessional", to bring my baby to a work activity- the same doubt that creeps into my mind whenever we take her with us to a restaurant or private event. But here in Guatemala, I'm always pleasantly surprised that our baby is welcomed and appreciated wherever we bring her- it's one of the best parts of this culture! And the women at UPAVIM loved holding and cooing over her.
Touring UPAVIM, we met Gloria, who works in the UPAVIM Crafts shipping area, organizing product shipments. She started with UPAVIM over 30 years ago and has been able to raise 6 children through her work with UPAVIM. Her children were able to attend UPAVIM's daycare center, just one floor down from where she works. As they got older, they were able to attend the Montessori elementary school and after school program that is also housed in the same building. She started as a seamstress but when she began having problems with her knees, UPAVIM found low-impact work in the crafts program that she could do. Gloria loved holding my daughter, sharing with me that she missed being around babies as her children are all grown up now.
Visiting UPAVIM and being so welcomed by the women there made me reflect on how powerful it is to be a mother and how central it is to the mission of UPAVIM. All of the programs focus on supporting mothers and their children. I find that the impulse to provide a good life for one's children is one of the most powerful motivating factors across humanity. I am reminded of this when hearing the stories of how important the work of UPAVIM has been in the lives of these women and their children for over 30 years!
While the desire to provide for one's children is universal, our ability to provide those resources and opportunities, is unfortunately not equal. This is why UPAVIM is such a godsend to these families. The quality of education and daycare stimulation children receive at UPAVIM is unmatched in this red zone of the city- neglected by government resources. Additionally, UPAVIM provides unparalleled work opportunities that offer flexible work for single mothers- that they can count on month-after-month to provide food for their families, pay the rent and electricity bills. The free medical clinic and pharmacy treat families in an area without other medical options. UPAVIM is truly lifting-up whole families by addressing their full spectrum of needs.
This Mother's Day, consider gifting the mothers of UPAVIM, in honor of your own. The mothers of UPAVIM want what every mother wants- a good life for their children. And YOU have the power to make that happen! Please consider making a donation of $25 this Mother's Day.
For your donation of $25 or more, we will send an e-card sharing your gift donation in her honor.