who we are - photo-report + the persons + the Quetzalitas (girls who left the street)

The Qetzalitas, or small quetzales, is the name of a self-organized group of girls (some tehts) who came out from  the street, from drugs, and someones even from pronstitution.

The Quetzalitas: click on the photo to zoom it to full screen (to visualize the full mosaic click here)

They take their name from the quetzal, a red breasted and very long green tailed wonderful tropical bird; it is the symbol of Guatemala and freedom. As these boys and girls it does not survive in captivity.

These fragile small birds represent above all the children born in the streets; they are also a sign of hope for their mothers or their parents.

It is almost a self-aid group to persist in the decision pf coming out from the street and facing together the problems: of the new life: the house, the job, the children, the husband, the violence, the discouragements, the whishes to find a solution in the drugs.

Education, professional training, looking for jobs and houses, above all occasions of mutual help, sharing their background and strengthening what is fragile are the aims of this group which has come out of the street. But it is going back there to share friendship with those still living there.

Being close to these young mothers means supporting them with moral and material help (to study, to rent an apartment or to start a small productive activity) and taking the risk of confidence to make them find self confidence.

The Quetzalitas are the first group completely self-organized of the movement. They decide to accept the candidates checking if they satisfay the required conditions. They check also the loan requests and manage a budget of 500 dollars per month.

They meet every two sundays. They stand by those who are in trouble, go to visit those who did not take part to the meeting, take those who are not well to the physician or the hospital, give a moral support in case of major trouble.