El Hombre Sobre La Tierra (HST)

Rural Mayan communities across Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula face high rates of poverty and unemployment, and young women in particular struggle to achieve self-sufficiency amidst pressure to drop out of school and marry in their adolescence. In response to this situation, El Hombre Sobre la Tierra (HST) was established in 1997 to help Mayan communities (and Mayan women in particular) achieve greater self-sufficiency through adopting sustainable farming techniques, sparking micro-industries based on traditional crafts and community assets, and developing local production collectives to meet local demand for goods and services.

EMpower’s fifth grant to HST is intended to solidify and culminate three work streams from prior grants: 1) provide final support to current participants (young women seamstresses and artisans) who have established their own production collectives to make them fully independent of HST; provide training to improve the quality of their garments/crafts for national/international markets, and strengthen the commercialization process so they can increase local sales and penetrate markets outside their communities; 2) with the assistance of a gender specialist , strengthen and expand the knowledge and skills of HST and the young women in order to integrate gender issues throughout programming with youth participants, their families, and the community; and 3) develop an operations manual systematizing HST’s experience for internal use (approaches, tools, learnings, best practices), and produce how-to manuals & a video for new participants to follow step-by-step to learn core livelihoods skills (self-learning manual). The systematization is intended to help 1) ensure consistency and institutionalization of approaches; and 2) with replication as HST expands into other communities.

Contact: Angela Petruso
Contact Email: apetruso@gmail.com
Year Established: 1994