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Asociación Femenina para el Desarrollo de Sacatepéquez

Indigenous women reclaiming identity, heritage, and rights

Asociación Femenina para el Desarrollo de Sacatepéquez (AFEDES)/Women’s Association for the Development of Sacatepéquez
Guatemala | Founded in 1988 | Thousand Currents Partner since 2005

Women’s Association for the Development of Sacatepéquez (AFEDES) 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 ancestral, 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.

Learn more about AFEDES’ work on our blog.

Grassroots Brilliance

Stories of our partners' impact

Alternative Economies | Latin America

“We resist through the art”

The women of AFEDES stand up to corporate theft of Mayan designs.

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Alternative Economies | Latin America

“We resist through the art”

The women of AFEDES stand up to corporate theft of Mayan designs.

Grassroots Leadership | Latin America

Indigenous. Woman. Leader.

AFEDES makes sure these three words are found together more often.

Food Sovereignty | Latin America

Defending maize, defending food

“This is our continued battle to defend the integrity and diversity of Mexico’s corn and its connection with an entire culture.”

Asia | Grassroots Leadership

Mobilizing millions

Rural women in Nepal are transforming the economic and political landscape in their country.

Africa | Grassroots Leadership

Stepping into power

An emerging young women’s movement is continuing the work of the previous generation of women’s rights leaders in Zimbabwe.

Alternative Economies | Latin America

A new bottom line

Putting people over profits means a new bottom line.