First shared by Farrah Ali-Khan on our Facebook page on March 10.
When I was in El Salvador, I had the chance to visit four women from La Argentina, a community in San Salvador, who are receiving small loans from our partner, ADCASMUS. In the picture, you may recognize Guadalupe who is featured in September on our 2014 Calendar.
On this visit, I learned a lot about maquilas (factories), factories in a free trade zone, owned and run by foreigners. Guadalupe recounted to me that when she worked in one, her manager hit her in the stomach once he found out she was pregnant. The harsh treatment of workers in these maquilas is well-publicized, but I imagine not too much noise is made because of the cheap production. All these women were earning about $150 in the maquilas, where they are exposed to unsafe and unsanitary working conditions. Their stories really pained me.
Through the loans, they no longer have to work in maquilas; they run their own businesses, and earn double the amount they did in maquilas. More than the economic benefits, I was very impressed by the personal growth and confidence you could see in the women’s eyes and mannerisms as they talked about their businesses and perseverance.
This is the last of the series of posts about Farrah’s Central American trip earlier this year.
Photo courtesty of Rafa and Yesi from ADCASMUS