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Improving livelihoods of indigenous women in Nicaragua

The indigenous Mayangna women of the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve in northern Nicaragua face poverty, isolation, domestic violence and triple discrimination based on their gender, ethnicity and socioeconomic situation.


Since 2012, the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF) partnership, hosted by FAO, has been supporting these women to sell local products and improve their livelihoods. Through a series of capacity building workshops, the Mayangna women have gained market knowledge, learning how to improve product quality while also helping to preserve their culture. In addition, the FFF helps the women gain social and economic empowerment by strengthening the position of women’s producer organizations. This enhanced productive and organizational capacity is giving hope to many women in the community for a better future.

“Now, as Mayangna women, we are starting to achieve economic independence for our families,” notes Telma Maria Rena Ramirez, a member of the Bonanza municipality of Mayangna Territory. Telma belongs to a group of that works with the bark of the native tuno tree to make handicrafts, such as bags, folders and wallets. “This is a raw material that our ancestors left which has rich value for us,” Telma says.

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