Directly impacted families:
In Muyuche, a small community in Yucatan, Mexico, a group of 12 women run this project to share their food and culture with travelers. Located near the Yaaz Utzil cenote, the women have seized on the opportunity of tourists visiting the site and provided a cultural experience to complement it. Along with sharing their traditions and culture, this is a grassroots effort that focuses on gender equality and strengthening the connection between local women.
Along with enjoying the natural beauty of swimming in an uncrowded cenote, visitors can learn about making hammocks and have an authentic meal in the homes of the women. They get a firsthand look at the local traditions and get to know the Muyuche women.
Involvement of V Social
V Social has supported this project since 2016. Starting from nothing, it now includes multiple trainings, cultural exchanges, and even field trips. We offer support by sharing marketing strategies that help to put the project of the Muyuche women on the map. We also offer language services and workshops or assistance on topics such as leadership, pricing, and networking. By facilitating the visits of dozens of tourists from Puraventura each year, we support up to 15 local women, with payment going directly into their hands.
Directly impacted families:
Support for Gastronomic and Cultural Experience with Muyuche Women
EUR 787 - Donation for 3 water filters
We donated 3 water filters to help women reduce the amount of water bottles used, to offer to our clients during visit (avoid dehydration) and to be more friendly to our planet.
More than anything, this project has inspired confidence in a group of amazing women! Coming out of a culture that didn’t afford them with a lot of independence, they now have economic opportunities and are able to share the joy they have for cooking and their traditional knowledge with visitors. Beyond the women involved in the project, this extends to 450 people in the surrounding area. The women of Muyuche have learned skills as entrepreneurs, and gained more resources to improve the infrastructure and quality of life in their community. Not only do they have more money to invest in the health and education of their children, but have set a precedent of how their daughters can be successful in the future.
Alicia lives in a small village outside Mérida with her husband, two daughters, and extended family in a small house made of bahareque—a mixture of clay, sand, and straw. Inside, there’s a simple kitchen and a living room strung up with hammocks, where the whole family sleeps at night. Outside, in the garden, the family keeps chickens, goats, and pigs. In 2017, Alicia joined forces with other Mucuyche women to create the Gastronomic and Cultural Experience, a community project that allows tourists to connect with locals. And while other women and their families take care of looking after the guests when it comes to preparing meals and going swimming at the local cenote, Alicia is in charge of the hammock-making workshop. Alicia is a shy, quiet person. This was her first job—a rarity in this economically deprived area—and it is work that, thanks to the Mucuyche Women’s cooperative, she was able to create for herself. She didn’t let her lack of experience, or anything else, hold her back. And after her initial training, and with a lot of practice, Alicia was able to confidently deliver a unique workshop experience that is both a lot of fun for travelers and a great opportunity to connect with local members of the community.
With the involvement of V Social, the hammock-making workshop went from a mere concept to the heart of the Mucuyche community experience. Along with providing skills training, it has helped Alicia find her voice as she developed her idea into a viable tourism experience.
At first, Alicia did not tell people that her daughter was seriously ill. It was through the sale of hammocks and the support of the Mucuyche women’s cooperative that she was finally able to pay for the treatment her daughter desperately needed.
While men typically spend 30-40% of their income on their families, for working women it’s more likely to be around 90%. The difference this makes is huge. The ripple effect on the family and the community is significantly larger, with greater education opportunities for both sons and daughters, and more investment in a better standard of living. These women are also role models for the next generation, encouraging others to overcome gender barriers, to earn a living, and to gain independence, even in a rural community such as Mucuyche.
For Alicia, and for all the other women of the cooperative, the Mucuyche Women’s Gastronomic and Cultural Experience offers the opportunity for upskilling, independence, and leadership. It’s given them a voice, and as the cooperative goes from strength to strength, it’s one that’s getting louder and louder.