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Finding Employment is Difficult for many Indigenous Guatemalan Young Women

In Guatemala:

• 21.7% of girls, aged 16-19 years, are living in poverty (OECD), • Only 42% of women are employed in paid labor (and only 40.8% in Chimaltenango), • 15% of indigenous people are underemployed (World Bank), • An estimated .4 million of 10-19 year old girls earn less than $2 a day, and • 67.6% of working girls, aged 5-14 years, are unpaid family workers.

Whereas for women who received funds from the Kateri Tekakwitha Fund five or more years ago:

• 84% are employed, • 71% are employed in the formal market or continuing their education, and • Former Kateri Tekakwitha Fund recipients also earn salaries that are much higher than indigenous groups—and higher than women as a whole earn in Guatemala (CSD 2010)

According to one former recipient, “Without the Kateri Tekakwitha Fund, I would be working at home without access to jobs in offices, organizations and factories. I wouldn’t have the job I have”.

Interns Candelaria Sut & Brenda Otzoy

However, a 2010 study of the Kateri Tekakwitha Fund found that it took an average of eleven months for the women to find employment. To help solve this challenge, in 2012, the Kateri Tekakwitha Fund is expanding the Internship Program in order to create a space for recent graduates to develop their skills, apply their education, and gain work experience at a business or organization. Through strategic partnerships with schools and other local institutions, the Internship Program enables the women to gain critical career experience, while earning a stipend to help support them and their families.

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