Salvadoran Enterprises for Women

empowers women in rural El Salvador to work their way out of poverty through small business development.

Salvadoran Enterprises for Women

provides training and services through

  • business, marketing education and product development
  • leadership, gender equality, human and legal rights workshops
  • accompaniment and mentoring by SEW staff
  • government and university programs for women entrepreneurs
  • opportunities for ongoing university and vocational education
  • partnership with the Center for Exchange and Solidarity (CIS) in San Salvador
  • fund raising to provide one time grants for groups of women entrepreneurs

Salvadoran Enterprises for Women

helps women in El Salvador

  • discover and develop their potential as skilled workers
  • affirm their self-respect as humans
  • claim their dignity as women
  • foster cooperative relationship within their families
  • assume leadership roles in their village and civic community
  • provide, as wage earners, for their children’s education

Download the 2017 December Newsletter here.

Feature Video


  • Featured post

    CIS Community Network Meeting

    It was the first meeting of 2017 for the CIS Community Network with Wendy Castillo with Asociación Solidaria para Impulsar el Desarrollo Humano (ASPIDH), a tall, short-haired woman with a booming voice and a wicked sense of humor. She whirled, demonstrated, danced, and illustrated ways that sexual diversity is met here in El Salvador. Wendy’s rapid-fire questions teased out the hypocrisy and injustice embedded in language, expectations, and opportunity based on gender stereotypes. As an example, in El Salvador it is common for positive words to be associated with masculinity and negative ones with femininity. Wendy asks to the group, “And what is the most degrading thing you can call a man? If you want to make him feel his very core is worthless, that he is a total and complete failure?” It’s easy, you just pick a word that is used to describe a woman! “Little girl, woman, princess, a hen with eggs…” the participants of the Community Network supply.

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  • Featured post

    The Salvadoran Ex-Guerrilla Who Learned to Read to Stop Corporate Mining

    The story of Maria Lidia Guarado is typical of the transformation that takes place among women in El Salvador when they become empowered. Women in the SEW businesses have been part of the resistance that has saved their land from exploitation by Canadian mining companies . Marie Lidia's story is a source of hope for the women of El Salvador.

    Read the article here.

     Written by Priyanka Borpujari in News Deeply on January 18, 2017.


  • Featured post

    SEW Women’s Indigo Cultivation and Organic Gardening Cooperative

    The SEW Indigo Cultivation and Organic Gardening Business in San Isidro have processed their first indigo crop into dye. The ambitious 7 women business has received ongoing training from Cuisnahaut. The training and the work of cultivating indigo is labor intensive, beginning with the first planting of the jiquilite seeds to the actual indigo powder, so in demand within and outside of El Salvador.

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  • Featured post

    Kinship: We Belong to Each Other

    What do Salvadoran Enterprises for Women (SEW) and Homeboy Industries, a gang centered mission in Los Angeles, have in common? In Fr. Greg’s words, “kinship.” In his 30 years working with gang members, he has sought to help them recognize their dignity and challenged them to transform their lives through work. Exactly, he said, what SEW does with the women in El Salvador.

    Jose and David, two of the Homeboys, shared stories of a childhood surrounded by parents who were addicts and by violence and gangs as a way of life. The welcoming and loving outreach by Fr. Greg, which they often rejected, finally brought them home to themselves as worthwhile human beings “loved by God exactly as they are.” This was the impetus to change for them. Fr. Greg spoke of countless others whom Homeboys Industries has helped turn their lives around. He encouraged us in these troubled times to remember that, “No one stands outside the circle of compassion. We stand with those whose dignity has been denied; occasionally with the demonized so that the demonizing will stop. We stand with the disposable so that we remember that we belong to each other.”

    Greg BoyleFr. Greg Boyle, SJ, Founder of Homeboys Industries
    Sr. Anne Marie GardinerSr. Anne Marie Gardiner, SSND, Founder of Salvadoran Enterprises for Women
    HomeboysHomeboys Jose and David with SEW Board Members Sr. Marie and Susan Saudek, and Fr. Greg Boyle
    BoardSalvadoran Ambassador Dr. Claudia Canjura de Centeno, seated next to Sr. Anne Marie, with SEW Board Members Patricia Flynn, SSND, Marie Chiodo, DW, Hannah Shultz, Susan Saudek and Tom Howarth
    Book signingBook signing—Greg and SEW Board Member, Mary Gunning
    Q and ALively Q and A session with Fr. Greg and Homeboys

    Salvadoran Enterprises for Women is deeply grateful to Fr. Greg, Jose and David for freely offering this speaking benefit for SEW and to Fr. Stephen Planning, SJ for the use of Gonzaga High School for this event.


  • Featured post

    SEW - A Story of Hope and Transformation

    Produced by Susan Saudek, SEW Board Member.