ACACCPAMU has had exemplary results in providing women a way to generate income for themselves and their children. With IPM funding, in 2009, the women improved the life of their community and families, by bringing a corn grinder to town. As corn is the primary component of the Salvadoran diet, consumed as tortillas or pupusas, the demand for an easy and convenient way to grind corn into flour was very high. Previously, women had to travel for hours on an unsafe, time consuming and labor-intense journey to the nearest grinder.
The women charge a small fee for community members to use the grinder, as an income generating activity. The women use the flour produced by the grinder to make baked goods, which they would sell at a small bakery cooperative in the community.
In 2013, ACACCPAMU continued to see an increase in the number of women coming to use their mill to grind corn and spices. The women also made several improvements to their building space, allowing them to be one step closer to attaining a license to distribute their products on a larger scale. The project is operated by six women, but is able to reach over 230 families in the community. IPM has helped them to keep their mills in order by purchasing machine parts and funding routine maintenance and training on its usage.
The project has also continued to develop an embroidery handcraft initiative that began in 2012 and is offering workshops for the women in the community to learn how to embroider with the hopes that they can soon start selling their products in the local markets.
IPM was able to fund the purchasing of over 5 sewing machines so as to help increase the income generating efforts of the women’s handcraft productions. Some of the major additions to the building space have been a solid roof, bars on the windows and doors and a way to lock the building. It allows the women, who often come in the early hours of the morning to begin grinding corn for the day, a strong sense of security and safety.
This past year, the women of ACACCPAMU also successfully piloted a rotating chicken-raising project, which provided eggs and meat as a sustainable source of protein for the women and their families.