Our Social Exchange Networks

Artisan Development

Our Artisan Development Program was launched in 2009 to further support our artisans in their personal and professional growth. Today, the Program offers capacity building support, promoting the well-being of the artisan and her family.


Women-owned businesses in Guatemala face many challenges that often inhibit long-term success. A lack of institutional support to invest in either basic education or more advanced business skills for women— in particular indigenous women—has significantly contributed to the high levels of poverty amongst these women in the rural areas of Guatemala.

Our Work

At AlterNatives, we understand that when we invest in one woman, we are investing in a generation. The artisans we partner with are mothers and wives, and they manage their households as well as their family’s crops. In short, they are amazingly capable and strong, and welcome our support in realizing increased economic empowerment.

Many of the artisans we partner with did not have the opportunity to receive a formal education. By providing our artisans and cooperatives with the necessary training to increase capacity and build self-sufficiency, we foster pro-active artisans, able to conduct business in a larger marketplace.

We offer multiple resources in support of indigenous artisans’ efforts to improve their lives, and the lives of their families:
• Basic business training
• Support with financial management
• Product development
• Costing and pricing
• Quality control mechanisms for export market standard
• Management skills
• Leadership and conflict-resolution training
• Literacy workshops

Support our Artisan Development Program

Directly support our artisans in their personal and professional growth by donating now


*Link takes you to donation page on Highland Support Projects Website

AlterNatives is a non-profit business trust established by the Highland Support Project in 1993 for the purpose of developing markets for weavings of Highland Maya women widowed by political violence in Guatemala.

AlterNatives is a sister organization of the Association of Highland Women. AMA organizes women into mutual support circles and provides accompaniment to assist members solve problems and access opportunity.