Honduran and Salvadoran Women Promote Productive Activities to Prevent Irregular Migration
The entrepreneurs sell handicrafts and typical products they made themselves, such as banana slices, cheeses and horchatas.
Dilcia Cristela Reyes Martínez migrated to the United States in 2005 with the dream of improving living conditions for her family. However, she did not manage to adapt to the idea of leaving her family behind, so she returned to Honduras five years later.
When she returned to her community, San Rafael de Nacaome, she joined a livestock association, and soon, with the support of the NGO Global Communities, she created her own micro-enterprise to produce plantain slices, which has grown and consolidated. "This shows that the women that migrate to support our families we can contribute economically to our territories," she said.
Reyes Martínez is one of the dozens of women from Honduras and El Salvador who, in the framework of the commemoration of International Women's Day and with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), held the Binational Entrepreneurs Fair in Nacaome, Honduras, with the objective of promoting productive activities as an alternative to irregular migration.
With the slogan "For a safe, orderly and regular migration, promoting women's entrepreneurship", the activity was led by the Nacaome Women's Network and had the logistical support of the IOM, the Local Economic Development Agency of the Department of the Union (ADEL La Unión), the Departmental Economic Development Agency of Valle (ADED Valle) and the Vida Foundation. These institutions provided business counselling, training and technical assistance to women.
During the event, the entrepreneurs sold handicrafts and typical products they made themselves, such as banana slices, cheeses and horchatas.
The Fair also served as an opportunity for the institutions of the central governments, city halls and civil society of El Salvador and Honduras to provide information to the community about the services available for girls, adolescents and women who reside, or transit, along the border.
"With this fair, we seek to make visible the opportunities that exist for women in their own localities, in addition to fostering an exchange of positive experiences on the subjects of entrepreneurship and migration," said the National Coordinator of the IOM Mesoamerica Program in El Salvador, Cecilia Ramírez.
For its part, the IOM National Projects Officer in Honduras, Likza Salazar, added that "the coordinated work between institutions, with a focus on human rights, allows women, to have access to better opportunities for development for themselves and their families. "
The support provided by the IOM has allowed the formation of local inter-institutional networks on migration, in the departments of La Unión and Valle, in El Salvador and Honduras respectively, which seek to improve the management and bilateral coordination of migration.