According to Guatemalan legend, worry dolls have the ability to remove worries from sleeping children. Children tell one worry to each doll when they go to bed at night and place the dolls under their pillow. In the morning the dolls have taken their worries away.
UPAVIM is an acronym for Unidas Para Vivir Mejor, “United For A Better Life.” This group of women lives in a squatter community named La Esperanza (“Hope”) on the outskirts of Guatemala City. In 1989, UPAVIM was organized to offer much needed health and educational services within this community, where many families had fled from Guatemala’s civil war and overpopulation in the capital city. Since then, the organization has grown to include income generation programs, including handicraft training and production, a bakery, a soy product production, medical clinic, pharmacy, medical laboratory, growth monitoring program and tutoring program for families with limited choices.
For member women artisans, craft work is fit into a daily routine of child care, housework and volunteering in other programs at the UPAVIM community center.