Meet Starfish, a non-governmental organization in Guatemala that works with young women from low-income, indigenous communities who have the talent and desire to succeed but lack access to opportunity.

Latina traveled throughout the beautiful Central American country to see how the indigenous women-run org is empowering their marginalized community and shattering the patriarchy firsthand.

Through its holistic program, Starfish provides access to education, intensive support from peers and mentors, and a diverse knowledge base to ensure that each young woman realizes her full potential and can help in creating systemic change.

And it’s working. While in Panajachel, Sololá, we met Candelaria, a young indigenous girl whose dream is to become an English professor. She is a recent graduate of the Starfish program and through their endless support has become the first person in her family to receive a formal education despite the many cultural obstacles.

Much like in other parts of the world, indigenous communities in Guatemala suffer from discrimination, marginalization, extreme poverty and conflict, and women and girls often experience the worst of it. That’s why organizations such as Starfish are critical.

In the documentary above, learn more about the amazing organization through Candelaria’s personal story.

Documentary shot, edited and directed by Connie Chavez for

About The Author

Bianca Alysse is a creatively driven Bronx-born writer and editor. Before becoming The Knockturnal‘s music editor she served as Latina‘s creative coordinator and was a contributor at Billboard. The Boricua scribe has a lengthy resume in the music industry and has penned for Universal Music Publishing Group, Epic Records, G.O.O.D. Music, Compound Entertainment, Artistry & Récords, and Arcade Creative Group. Her work has been seen on platforms like VIBE, mitú, TIDAL, Remezcla, and behind the scenes at New York Fashion Week. As an independent contractor, she has written for Sony Music Entertainment’s global business affairs department, Warner Music Group, and currently Roc Nation.

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