We’re excited to announce the launch of our new program, Mercadito, or little market in English. Mercadito comes from a confluence of ideas, situations, and the need for innovative solutions.
The beauty of Casita Copan lies in our ability to constantly readjust to our surroundings and circumstances while remaining focused on the health, well-being, and development of the children and women in our programs. Our new program empowers local single mothers, providing them with real opportunities to take more ownership and responsibility for their own future and the future of their families.
Mercadito is a network of micro-businesses based at Casita Copan’s main premises in Copan Ruinas. Initially, the moms participating in the Mercadito program are putting to use their existing skills and talents, such as in the preparation of traditional foods, as well as sharing their knowledge with each other. We provide on-site training, workshops, administrative support, and mentorship to help the mothers further develop their skills and grow their businesses.
In the earlier phases of the program, a major priority is food and economic security for the children of participating moms. To begin with, food and basic provisions are provided through a subsidized, members-only store. Similarly, raw materials and ingredients are partially subsidized at the outset. In both instances, the plan is to reduce the level of subsidy as each microbusiness develops.
The moms that have come together with us to create and develop Mercadito do so in the understanding that life will not get better by chance, it will get better by proactively working to change it.
At Casita Copan, we continue to require support to run our programs, while also holding the strong belief of working towards an ever more self-sustainable model. We are grateful for the enduring support that we receive from generous individuals and organizations like StoveTeam and IPA Rotary Club that share our vision. As an organization, we recognize that there is a powerful difference between adapting to cope and adapting to succeed, and while we cannot say that things will definitely get better for the women and children that we support with these changes, what we can be sure of is that there are things that need to change to improve the chances of that happening.