How Development Projects Persist: Everyday Negotiations with Guatemalan NGOs
The Fraternity’s Holistic Model
This chapter provides an organizational analysis of the Fraternity, a foreign-funded but locally founded and locally managed grassroots NGO that grew out of indigenous women’s collective action in the Presbyterian Church. Mayan women of the Fraternity mobilized within religious spheres to push for more opportunities for indigenous women’s leadership and leveraged international religious networks to fund socio-productive projects for Mayan women. Connecting this prehistory and founding members’ dispositions with organizational characteristics and trajectory, the chapter demonstrates how leaders’ fight for greater inclusion in the Presbyterian Church informed the NGO’s holistic model of development. This model entails working toward multiple goals at once, including enhancing women’s self-esteem, combating environmental degradation, reinforcing religious values, combating individualism, and recapturing Mayan culture. The Fraternity’s prehistory also informed policymakers’ view of indigenous women’s participation as intrinsically valuable.