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Economic Empowerment, Impact Stories

GN El Salvador empowers women’s economic independence through the textile cooperative ‘Mujer Avanza’

Good Neighbors El Salvador (GNE) is dedicated to ensuring the economic independence of the Salvadoran population. In 2022, GN El Salvador supported a group of 18 women who had lost their jobs due to the pandemic, who came together and formed a textile cooperative called ‘Mujer Avanza.’ This cooperative, located in Soyapango, San Salvador, is dedicated to the production of garments, and the members have extensive experience in the textile industry.

Member of textile cooperative, ‘Mujer Avanza’

Before the establishment of the cooperative, every woman had her own basic sewing skills, but the scope for profiting from it was limited. GN El Salvador, therefore, aimed to create a system through cooperatives that would ensure its members’ reasonable profits. The cooperative was initially funded by providing low-interest loans to its members. Cooperative helped improve the quality of the products by providing training and machinery to its members. Furthermore, management, trade, and education committees were established to enable members to become owners and access the global market.

“Thank you so much for helping our cooperative and its members. This has been a great help for us to settle down and grow. I appreciate your interest in the future.” – Luisa Hernández, Mujer Avanza Cooperative member

Global Challenge Fund and Good Neighbors Canada made this support. This support allowed the women to take their business to the next level and strengthen the bonds of fellowship and equal growth among the cooperative members.

Complete Technical Training (Pattern making)
Delivery of textile machinery

While executing the project, the cooperative members learned new skills, such as using computers and Sewing machines and exploring new techniques to make their garments. They can now make women’s blouses with much more detail and style and employ shirt sublimation techniques (textile printing) for a new line of clothing marketing.

As a result of these interventions, the cooperative members now see themselves as leaders and understand the importance of administration and distribution of roles to achieve measurable and successful results. With the delivery of eight industrial machines and different raw materials, the cooperative could start its operations with a wholesale client. They now produce shirts and pajamas for this wholesaler and make pilot garments for a possible retail client in Jamaica.

Production space of Mujer Avanza

Also, cooperative members now receive a stable monthly salary, motivating them to participate and fulfill their working hours and responsibilities actively. They have also developed their capacity to propose solutions to risks and problems and constantly seek ways to improve their work and relationships. Compared to their emotional state at the beginning of the project, members have shown a change in attitude and aspirations and now have dreams of starting their own businesses in the future.

“We are thrilled to witness our objectives being realized gradually, and we owe it all to the organized assistance provided by Good Neighbors to our cooperative. We express our gratitude to all of you!”Maribel Osorio, Mujer Avanza Cooperative member

The clothing cooperative Mujer Avanza, consisting of brave women, is experiencing growth with the all-encompassing support of GNE. 

The cooperative has an extensive plan to: increase production and sales, expand operations, research and secure new contracts, strengthen networks with institutions for seed capital, and specialize committees for effective marketing and education.

GNE will continue to do its best to increase the income of women and local community members.

Good Neighbors Country Website