In a rural mountain village in Honduras, indigenous Lenca women formed the association ‘The Coordinator of Rural Women in La Paz’ or COMUCAP in 1993 with the social objective to promote equality of leadership and economic opportunities working towards self-sustainability and the protection of the environment. Today COMUCAP has 256 members, bringing together Lenca women from 16 communities around La Paz, Honduras.
COMUCAP offers many services for its members such as loans and technical support. They even have a social branch producing its own radio program “Woman to Woman”, educational literacy programs, advocacy, microfinance and several vocational trainings available to the whole community. By its successes in these activities, COMUCAP is positioned as the leader in the economic and social branch. In fact, they provide best practices exchanges with multiple international groups. And the General Coordinator, Dulce Marlen Contreras is involved as a mentor for organizations like GTZ from Germany and Women Thrive from the United States.
Comucap gives women in Honduras opportunities they might not otherwise have. With the help of Comucap, women in the area now get training and support to start their own farming businesses and help provide their families with a better life.
Today the 256 members use these skills in every department of their own successful Organic Aloe vera, and award-winning Fair Trade and Organic certified Coffee enterprises. Others have been trained in running a bakery, offering eco-tourism cabins, growing oranges to make orange wine, producing bee honey and selling organic fertilizers. Some of the women have even bought their own plots of land with the help of loans from Comucap.
The income these women are earning as a result of their new skills is changing their lives and those of their families today and for generations to come. For example, ALL the children of Comucap women now go to school - something rare in a rural Honduran community.
The women of Comucap have become model examples for not only economic but also social development. Please visit some of our supporting organizations that have partnered with us in these efforts:
Foundation CODESPA - www.codespa.org
FIDE, Investment and Exports - www.hondurasinfo.hn
Eco-Mercados - www.ecomercados.org
Women Thrive – www.womenthrive.org