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Founded in 1988 | Thousand Currents Partner since 2005

Asociación Femenina para el Desarrollo de Sacatepéquez

Indigenous women reclaiming identity, heritage, and rights

Asociación Femenina para el Desarrollo de Sacatepéquez (AFEDES) or ‘Women’s Association for the Development of Sacatepéquez’ is a Mayan women-led organization that fights for and defends Indigenous rights and the physical, economic and political autonomy of Indigenous women in Guatemala. They were founded in 1988 in response to the challenges of inequality, economic and food insecurity, chronic malnutrition, and the exclusion of Indigenous women in the municipality of Santiago Sacatepéquez.

Today, AFEDES aspires to live a full life free from oppression, violence, discrimination, racism, and exclusion. In their effort to achieve Utz ‘K’aslemal (Buen Vivir, or life in fullness, or, good living) for women and their families, they promote food sovereignty, political education, and building Indigenous knowledge and skills such as ancestral and natural medicine, and weaving.

In this framework, AFEDES has been successful in their demands that the Guatemalan government recognize their right to protect the collective ancestral intellectual property of Indigenous Mayan weaving designs and clothing. Additionally, AFEDES has succeeded in increasing women’s rights in Guatemala, and strengthening women’s leadership and education about women’s economic, social, cultural and political rights over the years.

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