UPAVIM today is a 75+ member cooperative association with more than 70 members working as seamstresses and doing handicrafts. In addition, UPAVIM provides employment for the women of the community as teachers, nurses, administrators, cooks, cleaners, secretaries, bakers and soy producers.
UPAVIM in Action
UPAVIM Crafts (Artesanias) is the heart of UPAVIM. UPAVIM Crafts exports beautiful fair trade gifts and crafts around the world, and financially supports the Children’s Center and Alternative Learning Center. In addition to Artesanias, UPAVIM proudly runs its own bakery, soy factory and health clinic.
UPAVIM also offers a variety of educational services to La Esperanza and surrounding communities, including a free public library, academic scholarships, a tutoring center, the Children’s Center (a Montessori early childhood program), the Alternative Learning Center (a full-day school for students in kindergarten through 6th grade), and an English program.These programs provide services not only to our women, but to thousands of people in La Esperanza and other nearby communities. Some programs are free and the rest charge a low price. These programs are supported by craft sales and other income generating projects we have started as well as international donations and grants.