07 April 2021
BUSINESS TO MANUFACTURE HAND MADE FACE MASKS FOR PROTECTION AGAINST COVID-19.
When Covid-19 becomes an opportunity for many local artisans.
As was for tens of tailoring cooperatives in Guatemala and thanks to funds provided by the European Union, and managed by the intervention of AGT International. The project started in 2019, when even the spectre of the pandemic was yet to come.
The objective of the program launched by the EU is “to improve the competitiveness and trade capacity of micro-small-medium enterprises (MiPyMes) and cooperatives” in Guatemala. The contract involved the supply of laboratory equipment and IT equipment (computer, tablet, etc.) through the Guatemalan Ministry of Economy.
The pandemic breaks out during the execution of the contract. Supplies become difficult due to impediments to the mobility of goods and people. It was decided to open the agreement of the last lot (lot 3) to include the distribution of 750 thousand protective masks and to convert aid into a usable mode during an emergency. But even this case reconfirmed the challenges that had already limited the supply operations. So why not produce the masks on site? The operation snaps into place. Several local sartorial micro-companies that had stopped their activity due to Covid, restart at full speed to produce almost 450 thousand facemasks, using local textiles and fabrics (the production of textiles and fabrics is one of the traditional activities of populations that descended from the Mayan culture).
Two months of work which are worth a full year of revenue, for 15 local companies and about seventy associated families. A unique opportunity for local cooperatives and their members, with the coordination of the “Comision de la Industria del Vestuario y Textiles”, to produce and contribute to the construction of better health facilities, essential in a country where only prevention can work, since health and hospital care are substantially absent. An opportunity to demonstrate the ability to be flexible in carrying out an activity of international cooperation mirrored to start fresh.