In just over four years, MuJER went from offering literacy classes in the women’s work rooms at one red light district to opening an Empowerment Center, a full-service community center to serve female sex workers throughout Guatemala City. The Center provides a stable and positive base from which we can educate women about their rights and help them to organize to address their collective concerns.
The Empowerment Center, located in a colonial house in downtown Guatemala City (not far by bus from several red light districts), opened in February 2009. For many women of Guatemala’s red light districts, the Center has become their “home away from home.”
Much of our programming—including semester-long educational and vocational courses as well as short-term self-esteem and anti-violence workshops—takes places at our Empowerment Center. The Center also provides a safe place for the women to spend time, relax, discuss their needs, and build constructive relationships with other women sex workers.