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Bracing For Increased Deportations And Reduced Remittances From The US, Guatemalan Towns Bolster Local Economies

CAJOLA, GUATEMALA - FEBRUARY 12: Indigenous Mayan Mam-speaking women, many of them weavers at a cooperative, meet on February 12, 2017 in Cajola, in the western highlands of Guatemala. Women are especially effected by emigration from Guatemala, where some 70 percent of the men have left to work as undocumented immigrants in the United States, many of them leaving behind wives and children who only know their fathers online, if at all. Grupo Cajola, an NGO funded by American donations, is attempting to make the town's economy prosper locally to help reduce the need for emigration. With U.S. President Donald Trump's crackdown on illegal immigration, the spectre of increased deportations back to Guatemala and reduced remittances has made the need to transform the local economy more urgent than ever. Remitances from undocumented Guatemalan laborers are the main source of income of Guatemala, and while driving a housing boom in towns like Cajola, they have also had the negative effect tearing the social fabric of local communites. Grupo Cajola has set up a weaving center, an egg farm, carpentry shop, internet cafe, library and education programs for pre-schoolers and their parents, while providing scholarships for more than 20 young residents to learn local trades. Textiles they produce are now exported for sale to the U.S. The NGO was founded in 2000 by Eduardo Jimenez, who lived as an undocumented immigrant for 10 years in the U.S. before returning to Guatemala. He coordinates locally with the group's American director Caryn Maxim, who organizes funding and product sales in New Jersey. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Bracing For Increased Deportations And Reduced Remittances From The US, Guatemalan Towns Bolster Local Economies : News Photo
Bracing For Increased Deportations And Reduced Remittances From The US, Guatemalan Towns Bolster Local Economies : News Photo
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Credit:
John Moore / Staff
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635117022
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Getty Images News
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February 12, 2017
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Getty Images South America
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