SERES-ADESJU Exchange of Experiences
Did you know that a group of 10 young women from Huehuetenango were able to achieve a sum total of 5,000 quetzales as a loan bank for their community for one year? How do they do it? This was one of the most inspiring experiences that I took away from the exchange with the organization ADESJU that I was invited to as a member of the local ambassador network of SERES.
From our perspective, we are always looking for learning experiences that inspire us and that show us different ways of economic, social, environmental, and political empowerment in our regions. We are supposed to be the catalyzers for impact!
What happened? On January 26th of this year, we were in the municipality of Chiantla, Huehuetenango, in order to meet with the Association for Sustainable Development of youth, also known as ADESJU. Our group of representatives from SERES included: Sara Hurtarte, director of programs; Abigail Quic, coordinator of programs in Guatemala; Julio Recinos and Glenda Xulú, facilitators of programs; and Julio Tojín, Juan Gonzales and Juan Pablo Sic, youth leaders and ambassadors for SERES at the local level.
What is ADESJU? ADESJU is an organization that facilitates programs for culture, art and recreation, agriculture, entrepreneurship, social communication, leadership, gender and education. These have been the vital transcendence, challenges, and transformative goals of the youth community of Chiantla, Huehuetenango.
As an ambassador I believe that it is urgent to have these useful methods for community strengthening and organizing, and through this inciting social transformation in our surroundings, principally from our identities.
Save in Climentoro! Climentoro is a community where we were able to get to know an active and organized group of women that work with the program “Ahorro!”, or “Save!”. The program consists of a weekly monetary quota, voluntarily given, that is done with a registry and administration, and then is available for internal and external loans with a considerable interest rate. The joint savings/loan bank now totals 5,000 quetzales.
María, coordinator of the movement, ‘Creativo de Climentoro,’ and current member of the COCODE, told us that from the mobilization and activism of the group and its new position, they have been able to grow to the point where they are now a resource for spaces such as schools, for recreational use and meetings for their programs and processes. In this way they have obtained the confidence, support, and recognition of the community.
This is an inspiring and new experience, and an intellectual and political practice among women that has materialized in a cooperative and unified way. It achieves a new way of creating a just and independent economy in the community of Climentoro.
New Experiences and Knowledge: Thoughts from SERES Team Members
“I learned how to get to know, to understand, and to manage many methodologies within a community organization based in various contexts, dialogue with local authorities, and personal development of the habit of saving.” – Glenda Xulú, facilitator
“To get to know the history and work of ADESJU, this moment was special because I saw at a deeper level the work that is produced by distinct processes like organization, valuing struggle and effort in order to arrive at what they are today, and to know that this struggle that has been going on for years has had political results that have been favorable for ADESJU.” – Juan Gonzáles, ambassador
To know the methodology of saving: Saving is a culture that should be encouraged and cultivated in youth, and the general population, including education on its form, methodology, and functionality.
To save is a fundamental habit for collective and personal development, and if you use an adequate methodology, you can achieve great things.
– by Juan Pablo Sic, SERES facilitator