Celebrate Culture: Nurture Creativity
Our newest fundraising campaign and project aimed at preserving and celebrating our entrepreneurs' cultural heritage
Since 2010, En Vía has been working to empower women by supporting the establishment and growth of small businesses. Our goal is to improve the personal and economic realities of the women with whom we work.
Every business we support is a reflection of the women's daily lives and their identity. These businesses also represent the evolution of their communities. We believe it is important to showcase the cultural relevance behind every piece of artistry, product, and service offered by these female entrepreneurs.
By highlighting the cultural significance of their work, we aim to create a deeper appreciation for their crafts and services. This helps our supporters understand the value of supporting these women and their communities. We want to encourage sustainable economic development that respects and preserves the unique cultural heritage of these women and their communities.
Through En Vía, these female entrepreneurs have the opportunity to gain the skills, resources, and support needed to succeed in their businesses. We provide them with microloans, educational workshops, and ongoing mentorship.
By celebrating and promoting the cultural relevance of their businesses, we hope to create a positive impact on the lives of these women and their communities. We believe that supporting these women means supporting the preservation of their traditional crafts and cultural heritage.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we have supported 850 women in 9 communities. Going forward, we want to continue contributing to their growth and involve new generations that will bring fresh perspectives to family workshops or start their own business ventures.
The cultural richness of the Zapotec communities in the Tlacolula Valley constitutes a legacy that we must preserve for future generations.
It’s important to preserve culture as these towns develop.
By way of development and cultural promotion, we’re looking to strengthen the following aspects.
Identity: Culture is an expression of community identity. In order to develop and promote culture, communities reaffirm their identity and pass it on to future generations.
Social cohesion: Culture is something that unites people with their communities; by sharing values, traditions, and customs, individuals feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves.
Resilience: Culture provides a community with the necessary tools to adapt to changes. By developing its culture, a community bolsters its resilience and prepares itself for the future.
Economic development: Culture can be a mode of economic development; developing jobs, creating products and services, and attracting tourism.
Education: Culture can be an educational tool, transmitting values, knowledge, and skills.
Personal Development: Culture can contribute to personal development by providing a sense of community, purpose, and belonging.
Creativity is the transversal axis that allows us to reach those objectives.
Through creativity, we can:
Transmit our knowledge and cultural traditions to new generations in order to preserve, continue, and guard them.
Create new products, with traditional techniques and/or materials, that are attractive to customers and reach new markets.
Express our perceptions about our time in original and unique ways
Strengthen our resilience and adaptability.
At En Vía we want to utilize these advantages of creativity to directly benefit the entrepreneurs by developing their businesses alongside our educational programs.
Until now, our programs have focused on business education and skills development. Going forward, we want to additionally emphasize and promote the cultural contributions of these women’s work.
With this newest project we wish to contribute to reducing the following issues detected in the communities in which we work:
Issue 1: Young women don't show interest in continuing to produce crafts or products from their community.
This may be due to there being fewer educational or employment opportunities for women than men, which can lead to alternative employment, which in many cases are not related to artisanal production. The influence of global culture, which offers them new consumer options and ifestyles can lead them to consider artisinal production as an unattractive activity. And with gender stereotypes where women are often perceived as housewifes and mothers, they are often expected to dedicate themselves to housework and caring for children, leaving little time for economic activities.
Issue 2: Women do not make products or crafts other than traditional ones, so they do not attract new clients.
This is due to the fact that women usually have traditional training in craft production. This limits their capacity for innovation and adaptation to new market trends. To overcome this problem, entrepreneurs need to receive training in innovation and design. This will allow them to develop new products and crafts that are attractive to new customers.
Issue 3: Older women do not know or do not have the opportunity to teach new generations what they know.
This may be due to older women having a lack of time as they often have many other responsibilities, such as caring for grandchildren or farming. Older women also often under valued for their knowledge and skills. This can demotivate/inhibit them from teaching new generations. Oaxaca communities often have few resources to support education and training. This makes it difficult to create training programs that allow older women to transmit their knowledge to new generations.
Issue 4: Women do not know how to use social networks to promote and sell their products.
This issue is due to the fact that female entrepreneurs in Oaxaca usually have little training in the use of information and communication technologies. This makes it difficult for them to reach new customers and promote their products.
These problems represent a challenge for the development of the entrepreneurs with whom we work.
That’s why this newest initiative is called “Celebrate Culture: Nurture Creativity”. Our three main objectives are:
Preserve regional culture by holding workshops that involve new generations.
Encourage business diversification and product innovation to reach more customers.
Promote personal growth through creative experimentation.
The problems described represent a challenge for the development of the entrepreneurial women with whom we work. However, with the right support, they can overcome these challenges and contribute to the economic and social development of their communities.
The activities that we at plan carry out, with the support of your donations to this project include:
Promote education and training in innovation and design: This will allow women to develop new products and crafts that are attractive to new customers.
Create training programs for older women to transmit their knowledge to new generations: This will allow the artisanal culture of the communities of Oaxaca to be preserved.
Offer training in the use of social networks: This will allow women to reach new customers and promote their products.
To donate to Celebrate Culture: Nurture Creativity, click here.