Gracia’s Fund-Racer is a fundraiser that challenges you to complete a virtual “marathon” of exercise, spread over 2 weeks, to support Gracia and the girls and young women in its program.
The marathon is NOT limited to running!
Almost anyone can participate – everything from walking, to gardening, to weightlifting can all count toward your miles!
It’s really easy, just install the Racery App and load your activities as you go. Tracking your progress against other racers & seeing messages from our team in Guatemala is FUN!
The virtual course is set in Jalapa, Guatemala where Gracia works.
- Dates: Sunday, October 22 – Saturday, November 4, 2023.
- Registration: $50/racer $30/student
All finishers will receive a Medalla de Milagros.
This year, our team has chosen to celebrate the FUND-RACER finishers with an olive branch charm. The olive branch is symbolic of peace and friendship, and when offered to another, it is regarded as a step towards creating a peaceful union. As all the girls and young women in Gracia’s program have proven to us over the past decade, change starts from within. Creating a more peaceful union in their Workroom, community, environment, and country, starts with even the simplest gesture of offering kindness to another.
We are truly grateful for the friendships that have grown from the Gracia organization. We will continue to do our part to create a more peaceful future for women in Guatemala.
Start your Holiday shopping early and help Milagros reach its goal. Our sterling silver bracelets and sterling hoops make the perfect hostess gift or stocking stuffer!
1) Registration Fee + $75 Donation ($125.00 total)
Participants who donate the registration fee ($50) + $75 to total $125 will receive a 6mm Milagros sterling silver stretch bracelet with a charm clasp to connect your medal to the bracelet. A beautiful combo at a 20% discount!
2) Registration Fee + $32 Donation ($82.00 Total):
Participants who donate the registration fee ($50) + $32 to total $82 will receive a pair of Milagros sterling silver .75” hoops. Our most popular style at a 20% discount off of the retail price.
Gracia will award $100 Grub Hub Gift Cards to the winners in the following categories!
The first finisher of the race or the youngest finisher of the race or the individual who raises the most money for the girls and young women of Casa Hogar!
Medalla de Milagros (Photo coming soon)
Meet the Young Women You Are Supporting!
Mujer Fuerte Yasmin
In 2016, Yasmin began as a first year in the Gracia Entrepreneur Training (or GET) program and especially enjoyed learning the financial aspects of running a business. She currently acts as HR manager of the Milagros Workroom. Shy by nature, Yasmin has grown into her position; she now handles all HR matters with confidence and professionalism. Yasmin is a self-starter who strives to make herself the best she can be. For the past 3 years, she has taken cosmetology classes on the weekends and intends to open up her own salon in the near future. Gracia is excited to help Yasmin with her business plan and see her step out as an independent, young businesswoman.
Mujer Fuerte Erica
Erica’s parents brought her to the Casa Hogar to help her receive an education that wasn’t available to girls in her pueblo. She trained to be an elementary school teacher but teaching jobs were not available, so she was glad to get a job in the Milagros Workroom. For the past 4 years, Erica has overseen in-country sales in Guatemala. Under her watch, sales have risen consistently; their revenues have helped pay Workroom rent and salaries. The salary Erica earns in the Milagros Workroom allows her to help buy food for her family and assist with their medical costs.
Mujer Fuerte Ilma
Ilma’s parents brought her to the Casa Hogar to protect her from the increased violence threatening her community. She is the first employee Gracia hired and has remained fully employed in the Milagros Workroom for 8 years. Ilma has been an active participant in the Gracia Entrepreneur Training program (or GET) since its inception in 2016. GET introduced Ilma financial literacy concepts and inspired her to establish a savings account. In 2018, Ilma used a part of her savings and purchased three plots of land in her pueblo. Her family now uses the land to grow food for themselves, and Ilma has become the first landowner in her family’s history!
Mujer Fuerte Maria
Maria began as an Apprentice in the Milagros Workroom when she was 16 years old. She has remained fully employed in the Milagros Workroom for 5 years and has been an active participant in the Gracia Entrepreneur Training program (or GET) since its inception in 2016. She has an unerring eye for detail which serves her well manager of quality control in the Workoom. Maria has been disciplined with her money and has worked hard to establish a nest egg which she is using to build a small home for her son and his father.
Mujer Fuerte Emili
For the past 3 years, Emili has acted as COO of the Milagros Workroom, which she managed skillfully during the many logistical and financial challenges of the pandemic. Her quick smile and sense of humor make Emili a natural leader. Emili is a motivated learner who spent 2 months in an English immersion program. She practices her English whenever she can. On Saturdays and Sundays, you can find Emili on the fútbol pitch where, as striker, she has led her team to regional and departmental championships!
Support Staff, Josselin
Josselin Carolina has lived at the Casa Hogar for more than 20 years. She has developmental delays due to her history of severe trauma. Josselin had been labeled as unemployable. With hard work and Gracia’s help, Josselin has acquired basic life skills. Her tasks include making coffee for the Workroom and sweeping the floor at the end of the day. Now, Josselin has her own bank account to which she contributes monthly.
Evelin has lived at the Casa Hogar for 3 years and was inspired the work Las Mujeres Fuertes and the Milagros Workroom. Her interest led Evelin to join the Apprentice class formed in May of 2020. Evelin says she was “captivated” by how jewelry is made, and she loves the beauty of the delicate pieces. Evelin’s interest in art reaches beyond the Milagros Workroom, she spends her quiet time drawing. And she spends her not-so-quiet time on the fútbol field.
Lani has been an Apprentice in the Milagros Workroom for nearly a year. After her friend and fútbol teammate, Evelin, told her what she was learning in the Workroom, Lani became interested and asked to join the Apprentice group. Now Lani’s favorite part of her work is making bracelets. An excellent student, Lani is known for putting her heart into any challenge she takes on. On the fútbol field, Lani plays the position of “delantera” or forward. As a member of the national championship team, Lani takes the skills she learned on the field into the Workroom where she is respected as a team player.
Ascención is completing her first year as an Apprentice in the Gracia Entrepreneur Training Program. Two years ago, she traveled from Huehuetenango and moved into the Casa Hogar. In February of 2023, Ascención began the Gracia Entrepreneur Training program as an Apprentice in the Milagros Workroom. She says that she wanted to join as an Apprentice because of her interest in learning to make jewelry. Her favorite piece of jewelry to make is a Flotante or Floating Necklace. When she has finished her homework and has some free time, Ascención enjoys dancing and having fun with her friends.
Why Is Gracia’s Work Important?
Gracia helping to create new lives for young women in rural Guatemala by giving them the tools they need to break the cycle of multi-generational poverty. To do this, Gracia offers a viable alternative: dignified employment in the Milagros Workroom and the Gracia Entrepreneur Training Program. With business education, skills, experience, and confidence, girls in rural Guatemala can have a voice and craft better futures for themselves.
The Gracia Entrepreneur Training program, or GET, gives the girls and young women of Casa Hogar the cognitive, technical, and essential skills needed to change their course. Cognitive skills build the bank of knowledge needed for the business processes and skills required in the Milagros Workroom. Technical skills are the abilities and knowledge needed to perform specific tasks of jewelry making. Essential skills are needed to develop critical thinking and problem-solving capability; they build a sense of personal worth and agency, guiding young women to interact with others constructively and effectively.
Milagros is the name of Gracia’s upscale jewelry line. All pieces are produced in the Milagros Workroom. Milagros is a social enterprise, and its Workroom provides salaried jobs and hands-on training for the young women in the GET program.
Who Are the Girls and Young Women in Gracia’s Program?
Las Mujeres Fuertes (“The Strong Women,” 21-29y): Las Mujeres are entirely responsible for Workroom operations. They are salaried employees who receive PTO, health care benefits, and have retirement savings accounts. Las Mujeres grew up at the Casa Hogar and now live independently.
Las Aprendices (The Apprentices, 16-21y): Las Aprendices are learning Milagros jewelry production as well as managing smaller business tasks, e.g., packing/shipping boxes, restocking supplies, etc. They are residents of Casa Hogar. and work daily in the Milagros Workroom.
Las Chicas Valientes (“Brave Girls”): 15 girls, ages 10y-15y. Las Chicas Valientes are permanent residents of Casa Hogar. Most do not have homes; all are facing lives apart from their families of origin. While too young to be in the Workroom, they can participate in ¡Adelante! Their ages are perfect for assimilating essential skills, resilience, and self-efficacy which will prepare them for futures in the Workroom and benefit personal lives.