WHAT WE DO
Sustainable Sharing with Guatemala (SSG) is focused on optimizing resources in the United States to support effective Guatemalan organizations that spearhead practical community-based projects and achieve positive long-term impacts on the health, agriculture, and environment of rural indigenous Guatemalans.
As the United States’ close neighbor, Guatemala plays a vital role in sustaining our hemispheric environment and culture. Since environmental, health and justice issues challenge communities across borders, we are committed to develop working models of sustainability that connect cultures. The unique experience of the Maya provides education, inspiration and perspective.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
SSG believes that those local organizations that engage with local Guatemalan communities to shape projects that respond directly to their specific needs for solving pressing daily problems are the ones that can facilitate real, lasting, on-the-ground changes that are owned and operated by the people themselves.
HOW WE DO IT
As these kinds of imbedded changes take time, SSG is committed to two inter-related strategies: 1) to provide ongoing support, in coordination with other funders, to selected local Guatemalan organizations who utilize effective community-based approaches to problem-solving in SSG’s focus areas, and, 2) to use this experience to develop useful, sustainable, replicable models for similar development projects in impoverished communities outside Guatemala.
HOW SSG EVOLVED
SSG has developed significant expertise in project development and evaluation specific to Guatemala. Since 2005, SSG’s founder, Julie Siegel, has been connected, initially as a donor and then as a Program Officer, to the EarthWays foundation, a non-profit charitable organization committed to “global awareness and social and environmental activism”. Through her work with EarthWays, Julie has worked extensively with the Afopadi organization, which serves the Mam, a Mayan group of communities living in the mountainous northwestern region of Guatemala. This experience, along with 20 additional years of working on a range of Guatemala solidarity projects, has shown Julie, first-hand, the components that are necessary for building real change in remote indigenous Guatemalan communities and convinced her that founding SSG is needed to extend and strengthen this work. SSG established its board in 2010, and applied for its 501C3 in April 2012.
Julie Siegel’s connection with Guatemala dates to 1984. She founded Sustainable Sharing with Guatemala in 2010 in order to fund the ongoing work in the northwestern region that she has observed during annual visits to the country since 2005. Learn more about Julie.