- 100% cotton
- 3" square (7.6 cm)
- Handmade in and fairly traded from Guatemala
Made by: Upavim
In the 1980s, the community of La Esperanza (Hope) sprang up to the south of Guatemala City as the result of massive population displacement during Guatemala's 42-year civil war.
The women of UPAVIM (Unidas Para Vivir Mejor -- United to Live Better) have been working since 1988 to improve the quality of life for families in these communities through selling handicrafts at fair trade prices. The 80+ women creating these crafts are all mothers and homemakers. Some are widows, and many are the sole economic providers for their children. Through involvement with Upavim, these women are able to advance towards their goals, which they state as "Education, health care, employment opportunities, and personal development of women."
Upavim respects the cultural identity of farmers and artisan communities by selling products and using production methods that reflect the history and traditions of artisans and farmers. Upavim produces hair accessories, jewelry, Christmas tree ornaments, nativities, clerical stoles, sewing and knitting accessories, garden and kitchen accessories, table linens, pet products, kids toys, a large assortment of bags and wallets, and more.
The same building where the women work houses a Montessori school for their children, the Center for Alternative Learning, enabling the children to attend classes through the K-6th grades while their mothers are just a few rooms away. In addition, Upavim is able to sustain a daycare for younger children, a dental clinic, healthy babies growth monitoring, a medical clinic and pharmacy, a tutoring center, and hundreds of scholarships to help children of the community attend primary or secondary schools. These programs provide services to thousands of people in La Esperanza and other nearby communities. Some programs are free and the rest charge a low price. These programs are supported by craft sales and other income generating projects as well as international donations and grants.