San Andres de Iztapa,Chimaltenango, GUATEMALA
6,880 Bikes (1999- 2012) and 158 Sewing Machines (2003 - 2012) Shipped

Mateo Patzan -Recipient of the 100,000th Bicycle! Click here to read more about Mateo.

Bike Race at the grade school in San Andres de Iztapa in honor of Guatemalan Independence Day with bikes from FIDESMA!

Jorge Luis of San Andres de Iztapa uses his bicycle from FIDESMA to sell ice cream in the outlying villages.He averages about 20km everday on his bicycle riding from 5am -5pm. He is able to support his wife and 7 children from the money he makes selling ice cream.

The Mujeres Maya Kaqchiqoel from Santa Caterina Barahona recieved a micro-loan from FIDESMA 5 years ago to start their traditional weaving business. Click here for more information and how to buy thier products!

The local bike shop serves the needs of the community

FIDESMA is the Fundación Integral de Desarrollo Sostenible y Medio Ambiente, an organization within Guatemala that has been doing work around development and the environment. Our foundation, founded in 1998, has a micro credit system among four other large projects. These projects include our organic agriculture program (natural medicinal practices), workshops on bicycles (an environmental program), a skills and training center, a clinic (our health program), and a school for those with physical disabilities. Unfortunately, the last program has been discontinued until further notice because of a lack of funding.

This non-profit organization is non-political and non-religious and therefore the majority of our financial assistance comes from other non-profit organizations. "Our primary role in Guatemala lies in development," states one of our FIDESMA staff members, "FIDESMA helps the community become more self-sustainable and for this reason we distribute financial assistance (like our micro credit system) and show the community prospective job opportunities. Later we hope that they will be able to have their own business, thereby contributing to the rest of the Guatemalan economy."
FIDESMA was started when Margarita Caté de Catú, the current president of FIDESMA, wanted to organize against the problems facing her community. Ms. Caté de Catú and 150 other women struggled to create the foundation with financial support from the Leadership Council.

FIDESMA is one of fifteen organizations apart of FEDENMURG (la Federación de Mujeres Rurales de Guatemala), a national, democratic association that promotes social development. The women members fight for the rights of rural women throughout Guatemala, along with bringing awareness to the preservation of the environment.

11/16/99, FIDESMA paid for a second shipment of 527 bikes the following year, but internal management difficulties undermined the program's financial self-sufficiency.

In 2002, the Skoll Community Fund underwrote the partial costs of a third shipment, re-capitalizing the FIDESMA program and enabling the Guatemalan agency to pay the full costs of a fourth container later in the year.

Prospects are good for FIDESMA to pay for and import at least one shipment annually, expanding its impact throughout Chimaltenango and beyond.

The FIDESMA sewing course teaches women over a year how to make all types of clothing. Lourdes Santiso Salizar (right) was one of the first graduates of the sewing course in 1999 and now has her own women's clothing business specializing in wedding gowns.
FIDESMA's natural products courses teach local women how to use natural plants to make shampoo and soap to sell in the local market. Grupo Mujeres Integrados en Accion (right) has 10 members that work weekly to make aloe shampoo and soap. Ana Maria Guch is one member who is a widow with 8 children who supports her family from the sale of their natural products.

A corn grinder made from bicycle parts