Women’s Empowerment Program

Hotel Sugar Beach is proud to support the Women’s Empowerment Program (Mujeres Activas de Potrero, MAP), a program created by the local non profit organization Abriendo Mentes (AM). Over the past four years we have seen the positive impact that Abriendo Mentes has had on the community. Its afternoon educational programs are available to all residents, and since 2009 more than 200 children have accumulated 3,000 additional classroom hours.

The Women’s Empowerment Program is designed to focus on the women of Potrero, offering them new tools and skills with which to tackle the difficulties in their lives.

Sewing group

Current projects include:

Trade School
Educational workshops organized by the AM team. Workshops cover diverse subjects, from nutrition and self defense, to first aid and emerging technology.

The trade school adopts a community model: while initial workshops are taught by AM, during the second week a member of the women’s group will lead the class, sharing her special knowledge. In this way, the classes are social, interactive, and reinforce community and mutual respect.

Click image to donate

Within the community, a sub-group expressed a special interest in sewing. An AM volunteer, who happens to design handbags for a living, became the group organizer. Together they created a business plan, to design and create bags that could be sold locally in souvenir shops and hotels. The majority of the fabrics and materials are donated and upcycled, and each handbag has a unique design.

The project has been very successful – in about five months the team has sold more than 150 handbags! In addition to learning a new skill, the women have also learned how to work as a team and have been able to contribute to their family income.


The Women’s Empowerment Group (MAP) is about strengthening the community while it increases the skills and knowledge of individual members. Community members have a voice in the overall direction of the program as well as in the specific projects. The workshops are a place both to listen and to be heard.

The MAP depends on donations, both material and monetary. We at Hotel Sugar Beach believe this is a strong component of our local community and makes the experience here a better one. We would like to invite our friends and followers to contribute to this worthy cause. We have set a goal of $500. We will match every donation up to $500. No donation is too small to make a difference. Together, as a community, we can have a positive affect on the lives of the women of Potrero.

Click to Donate. In the comments section write Hotel Sugar Beach so we may match your donation. Thank you!

MAP from natalie ortiz on Vimeo