Partner Spotlight with Maya Traditions: Using the Web to Empower Women in Guatemala

Derk Norde

Derk is a co-founder at MovingWorlds.org, a global platform connecting people who want to volunteer their expertise with social impact organizations.

Maya Traditions Location

This month, we’re featuring one our partners, Maya Traditions, which is located in Guatemala. We had the chance to ask Alison about her organization and her experience with MovingWorlds. Read below to see how they used Experteers to help expand and launch a brand new website.

Maya Traditions WorkersTell us about Maya Traditions…

“Maya Traditions Foundation is a social enterprise that empowers Mayan women and their families through the creation of handmade, backstrap woven textiles. We highlight the work of participating artisans by creating trendy, high-quality accessories and home furnishings that celebrate the local culture and provide artisans with a livelihood.

To further support the long-term economic development of artisans, their families and their communities, we provide artisans with access to social programs in the areas of education, professional development and community health.”

 

Why did you partner with MovingWorlds?

“Maya Traditions has been working in the highlands of Guatemala for over 25 years but we recently decided to transition from a traditional NGO into a social enterprise to best support our artisans and their craft. In order for this new model to succeed we have to increase our international presence, develop internal systems and a strong strategy. Although our staff is dedicated and works hard we do not have the time or the specialized skills to fully complete this transition. We came to MovingWorlds looking for help to spread our message across the web and continue our shift towards becoming a social enterprise.”

 

What did your Experteers do?

Maya Traditions Website“In order to expand online, we first came to MovingWorlds for a UX designer, and then a designer and developer to build our new website. In order to guarantee long-term sustainability of the site, we also knew that we needed to educate our own team in the areas of design, coding, and content-development.

Starting in June 2014, we hosted our first Experteer, Deana, who helped us develop a design and development plan. We then hosted two additional volunteers, Erin and Colin, to take the strategy and wireframes into a newly designed website. The results speak for themselves and we just launched our brand new website: mayatraditions.org!”

 

How was it working with Experteers?

“To start the process, our Experteers visited the communities where we work, in order to experience what we do, the culture we’re helping to preserve, and to meet the artisans we work with. Then, over the 8-month project, the Experteers brought their experience and skills to the project and also involved Maya Traditions staff in each step of the process. Thanks to this collaboration our staff learned how to use WordPress, and design software such as Photoshop and Indesign in order to be able to maintain the site.”

 

What was the impact of the project?

Maya Traditions Worker“We believe our new website is clear and fresh, with an edge that gets viewers excited about our products as well as our social mission. With this new site, our visitors can easily understand how to partner with us and see first hand the social programs that benefit artisans and their families. Much of this is done through stories of individual artisans, inspirational and informative videos and a clear link to our blog and social media profiles. Most importantly, it’s giving us powerful portfolio of our work, and in addition getting more eyes on our products.”

 

What did you learn by hosting an Experteer?

“Working with MovingWorlds and its Experteers was a fun and exciting opportunity for our team. In addition to delivering an exciting product, it brought some other benefits, too. With new faces and an exciting project, it brought more creativity and energy to our team.

Final words?

The launch of our new website has been a crucial aspect of the development of Maya Traditions and is helping to set us in the right direction as we seek to grow as a social enterprise! We thank MovingWorlds and our fabulous Experteers and look forward to our future work together!”

Deana Experteering Guatemala quote
Deana, one of the Experteers, shares her experience on her Facebook page.

Learn More About Maya Traditions

See Experteering Opportunities with Maya Traditions

 

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