Read Time: 5 min.

#1

Keep Families Together

 

For years, Clara worked the same job every day while dreaming she could have more time to spend with her husband and three children. Now, as an independent businesswoman and fair-trade Artisan, she’s able to pursue her dreams, manage her own business, and work alongside her husband in their home in Guatemala.

Clara has a big heart for families in her community and loves sharing opportunities and blessings she enjoys as an Artisan.

#2

Invest in Communities

Not only has Clara been able to provide for herself and her own family, but her income has also given her the ability to “pay it forward”.

When Clara saw parents in her community needing to leave their families behind to search for safe jobs with fair wages, she built a workshop in her home and invited other Artisans to join her in her workspace.

Husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, and cousins work side by side in her workshop to support and strengthen the families in their community.

#3

Create Solutions to Poverty

 

Over half of Guatemala’s families live in poverty without food security, clean water, or safe housing.

Many of these families don’t dream very far beyond simply hoping for a safe warm bed, a full stomach, and opportunities for their kids to go to school.

But these Artisans are more than simply surviving poverty. They are resourceful and creative.

Together, they’re using traditional Artisan skills and materials combined with sustainable contemporary techniques and designs to create whimsical backpacks for children that are helping them provide for their own children.

#4

Help Parents Provide for Their Children

A favorite among Trades of Hope customers, our Turtle Backpack has helped many Artisans provide food, shelter, and education for themselves and their families.

Clara’s workshop helps support and strengthen many local families by providing opportunities for both parents to earn income.

#5

Create Opportunities for Financial Stability

Many of these Artisans also continue to follow their families’ traditional trades as farmers and ranchers. But the income they earn from these traditional trades is often not enough to provide their families with financial stability. As fair-trade Artisans, they’re able to enjoy creative expression, preserve the Artisan practices of their Mayan ancestors, and provide their families with better financial security.

#6

Send Kids to School

In areas of extreme poverty, children in Guatemala must often work alongside their parents to help provide for their families.

Instead of going to school, many children must tend to crops and livestock, work their family’s trade, or beg in the streets.

But through the income they earn as fair-trade Artisans, all of the Artisans in Clara’s community are able to send their children to school and give their children brighter futures by providing them with opportunities to get a good education.

#7

Be Resourceful

Throughout their busy and colorful workshop, Artisans transform colorful piles of fabric and puffs of bright blue yarn into fun and practical Bunny Backpacks.

Upcycling traditional Mayan fabrics into fair-trade products gives parents opportunities to teach kids how to maximize available resources and find creative solutions to overcome challenges.

#8

Be Environmentally Responsible

Artisans upcycle these adorable Bunny Backpacks from useful and beautiful materials that would otherwise be discarded into landfills.

Upcycling also gives parents opportunities to teach kids about environmental responsibility.

#9

Value the People Behind the Products We Buy

Every adorable Bunny Backpack from Guatemala has a name, face, story, and dream woven into its design.

Each Artisan has a unique dream, and every backpack makes a unique and meaningful impact on the lives of these men and women.

Meet Mercedes

Clara raised Mercedes since she was abandoned as a baby. Now a young woman, Mercedes learned Artisan skills from Clara and her hands have helped create many of our Turtle Backpacks.

Meet Karina

Karina is able to earn enough income sewing backpacks to provide for herself and care for her elderly parents.

Meet Marta

Marta recently expressed her thankfulness to Trades of Hope for the opportunity to provide safe housing, food, and education for her three young children as an Artisan partner.

Meet Michelle

Michelle has dreamed her entire life of becoming a teacher – a challenge for any young woman. But in Guatemala, where many women in rural traditional villages still experience extreme gender discrimination, neglect, poverty, and domestic violence, this dream is out of reach for many women.

These Bunny Backpacks make it possible for her to pay for the education she needs to pursue her dream of becoming a teacher. She earns enough income during her workweek to provide for her needs, help her family, and devote her weekends to studying.

#10 Shop to Change Lives

We buy products for our kids every single day. We often look for the best deal or discount without getting to know the names, faces, and stories of the people behind the products. Discounts often come at the price of human value when products are made with forced or child labor. Products made in sweatshops exploit the men, women, and children who make them.

Shop to give women like Clara, Mercedes, Karina, Marta, Michelle, their families, and their community power over poverty.
Every upcycled Mayan tipico backpack is as unique as the Artisan who made it.

Every purchase of this adorable Bunny Backpack makes a direct impact on the lives of real people, with real names, real faces, and real stories.

Shop to Change the World.

Trades of Hope is partnering to give women in Guatemala power over poverty.

You can partner to give women in Guatemala power over poverty.

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Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas is an inspirational writer with a passion for helping women discover and celebrate their unique gifts and abilities. Kathy is part of the Communication Team at Trades of Hope focusing on Artisan Development.

Kindred

adjective
1. similar in kind; related
2. a blog by Trades of Hope

Trades of Hope is an ethical fashion and lifestyle brand that helps women around the world escape poverty and trafficking through our fair trade designs. Learn how you can partner with Artisans around the world here.