UPAVIM Crafts is a cooperative of women who live in marginalized communities on the outskirts of Guatemala City. The women in the organization are mothers, homemakers, widows and some have been abandoned by their families. Many of them are the sole bread winners for their families. Unidas Para Vivir Mejor(United for A Better Life, or UPAVIM) was established in 1989 to create jobs for these women and to establish facilities of health-care, education and other social issues to benefit the community they lived in. Over the years, UPAVIM has grown from a small community health project to about a 80 member business cooperative. The organization employs teachers, seamstresses, nurses, administrators, cooks, cleaners and secretaries each of whom is paid a fair wage and is linked to UPAVIM ‘s fair trade business.
Amongst some of the achievements, In 2002 the cooperative was awarded the best Non-traditional Textile Exporter award by AGEXPRONT, a national trade organization, also UPAVIM’s Montessori school was recognized by the Guatemalan government.