Maria has won world-wide recognition for her efforts and her success. In 2007 María received the “Vital Voices Washington Global Economic Development” award and, recently, many more, such as: the 2016 DVF Award from the Diller – von Fustenberg Foundation, as one of the 5 women of the world who create positive change especially for women; the 20__ Stephan Schmidheiny award for Innovation in Latin America; the 20__ INCAE Challenge Award, as one of the new voices of innovation in business education in the region. In 2016, Wakami placed third among the 27 best social businesses of the world in the Chivas The Venture competition. In 2017, Maria was honored as one of three recipients of the Goldman Sachs & Fortune Global Women Leaders Award.
In Wakami we believe that individual dreams are strong . . .
and that collective dreams are unstoppable!!!
The Wakami system implements the Inclusive Business Methodology, which incubates, establishes, and strengthens rural business led primarily by rural women. The methodology includes nine training cycles conducted over a two-year time span.
By implementing its parallel methodologies, Wakami seeks to achieve 5 goals:
1 | Utilize and develop local skills and assets to create local businesses that are capable of participating in Wakami’s global value chain.
2 | Enhance the Wakami brand of products by following the latest market trends and expanding into new markets in different countries
3 | improve the quality of life of the families living in the rural communities where we operate by creating sustainable sources of income and knowledge of and access to healthy community products.
4 | Use a detailed process to monitor and evaluate our impact in each community for continuous improvement.
5 | Develop a base of information about business incubation and value chain development that is transferable to other products and to communities worldwide.
Wakami works with allies such as BID/FOMIN, ICCO, Rotary International, Smile Together Foundation, The Sinapi Foundation, Fundación Juan Bautista Gutierrez, Fundación Castillo Cordova, Global Goods Partners, GreaterGood.org, Sustainable Preservation Initiative, Arrocera Los Corrales, Pathways to Prosperity, Pomona Impact, Chivas The Venture, Agropecuaria Luisiana, DVF and USAID.
María has served as a consultant to both private businesses and governmental institutions on the implementation of her Inclusive Business methodology to connect rural communities to global markets. She was a member of the team leading the design of the “Economic Development from the rural areas” 60-million-dollar loan, granted to Guatemala by the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank and implemented by the Ministry of Economy.
In Wakami we believe that individual dreams are strong and that collective dreams are unstoppable!!!
We started our journey in the villages of Guatemala . . .
in remote places, where there were big dreams and scarce opportunities.
People in the villages said:
“If you can sell what we produce,
The rest we can do.
What we need is a source of income!”
That is why at Wakami we decided to create beautiful products,
products that would be messengers of those dreams and hopes . . .
The people in the villages were right . . .
these products are changing their lives. . .
but what we did not expect, was that they would change the lives of all of us
wearing their products . . . people all over the World!
We realized that by partnering and working together
we can transform anything we dream of . . .
We realized that if each one of us brings our talents
we can accomplish anything we set our minds to . . .
We realize that inspite of the challenges of the world,
we HAVE HOPE . . .
the hope that comes when people hold hands . . .
when people dream together . . .
when people travel this journey of life together . . .
when people dare to dream big . . . with OTHERS!!!
Welcome to Wakami World . . .
and join this collective dream . . .
one where PROSPERITY, PURPOSE AND HOPE are there for everyone!!!