ALL PROCEEDS OVER OUR COSTS DURING THIS TIME WILL GO TOWARD BUYING FOOD FOR MAYA ARTISANS WITH WHOM WE WORK, THEIR FAMILIES AND COMMUNITIES. TO DONATE DIRECTLY TO OUR GoFundMe CAMPAIGN, CLICK THE DONATE BUTTON BELOW.
Handmade by Mayan Artisans – Gifts that Give Twice
We are adding new products every week! If you want something that you do not see here, please email me at email@example.com.
We have many products in the U.S. and are also expecting a shipment from Guatemala. Some products may take until the end of July to ship.
Click on “STORE” above to get started.
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Emergency nutritional support and hygiene supplies and information for vulnerable indigenous people in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala
The Government of Guatemala declared a State of Calamity in Guatemala on March 17. The airport was closed and transportation between departments (states) and often between municipalities was halted, other than for essential goods and services (food, medicine, communication, energy, etc.). The airport was closed, all tourist areas, including beaches and lakefronts, were closed, bringing tourism to a standstill. Public transportation was stopped. Many people have lost their work in either the formal or informal economy. Many of those in the formal economy receive some financial assistance from IGSS, the equivalent of Social Security. Those with relatively low electric bills can receive some assistance from the government (three monthly payments of $133) to assist with basic expenses. Many people in Santiago Atitlan work in the informal economy and have no savings, living day to day. They are at risk of not receiving enough nutritional support during these trying times.
Santiago Atitlan, where Eliza and her partner Dan are now living, currently has over 50 cases of Covid-19, and over 200 people in quarantine. Many people are wearing masks, and understand their responsibility to keep transmission low. But for others, many of whom never had the opportunity to receive any formal education, it is very difficult to understand how one could unknowingly be infected by a virus and spread it to others.
We have participated already in efforts to get food to needy families and medical supplies to clinics and hospitals here, and now we want to help raise money for expanding these efforts. We want to provide a complement of food and hygiene supplies to individuals and families in Santiago Atitlan who are artisans working with A Thread of Hope and who have lost income due to Covid-19, as well as other at-risk families identified by our community partners: those who usually work in the informal economy and have lost their work due to Covid-19, widows with or without children, pregnant women, and children at risk for malnutrition. We will also include information about good hygiene and practices to help prevent transmission of Covid-19, using graphics and basic Spanish.
A typical “market basket” of food and hygiene products for a week for a family of four includes the following, and costs approximately $28:
3 pounds of rice
3 pounds of black beans
1 pound of sugar
2 pounds of pasta
3 pounds of corn ( for making tortillas)
1 bottle of cooking oil
½ pound of coffee
1 pound of salt
30 or more eggs
Incaparina fortified cereal for children and pregnant women
Fruit and vegetables
1 bar of hand soap
All labor for repacking bulk items is donated.
We will also be purchasing EcoFilters for families who do not yet have them. Without filters, tap water is not safe to drink. Many people have GI problems due to the bacteria and parasites in the water they drink. This of course contributes to malnutrition. EcoFilters cost $40. For more information, see https://www.ecofiltro.com/en
We continue to order handmade crafts from our artisan partners, providing them with income from work with dignity during these difficult times.
Our initial goal is to raise $2,000. We look forward to raising that, and then more, in order to continue our efforts to provide a safety net for these indigenous families.
Please contact me if you have any questions. And please share this page!
Your support is important. Any contribution will make a difference. We, our community partners, and those families we are helping to support are so grateful for your assistance. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
In cooperation and solidarity,
Eliza Strode, MSW
A Thread of Hope Guatemalan Fair Trade
Click on the button below to donate.
Donation to build new weavers’ workshop
A Thread of Hope and Asociación Maya are working with Building Goodness Foundation (BGF) in Charlottesville VA to raise $500,000 to construct a new headquarters, showroom, and weaving center for the co-op. The co-op has already invested over $50,000 in purchasing the land and in architect and engineering fees, and has committed to invest another $50,000 in the project. Building Goodness is an impressive organization with great values and people.
The project will provide a safer, larger, facility where the co-op can:
- have enough space to at least triple its production capacity and thus its ability to provide more well-paying work for its member weavers and other staff;
- have an appealing space for a retail store, wholesale showroom, and education center, near an established tourist destination, thus increasing retail sales and overall earnings;
- provide a lunchroom/presentation space for tour groups to have a traditional Guatemalan meal while learning more about the co-op and its community—weaving, the history of the co-op and its local communities, Guatemalan socioeconomic conditions, Mayan culture, and rural Mayan daily life. Through building a network of tourists who feel more connected to the co-op, the women hope to develop “friends of Asociación Maya” who will contribute to scholarships for their children and sponsor community development projects;
- provide meeting space for indigenous women to participate in workshops about women’s health, healthy relationships, healing from trauma, medicinal herbs, co-ops, business management, and many other topics;
- have room for tourists to participate in week-long hand-dyeing and backstrap loom weaving workshops while living on site with staff;
- provide workers with a safe dormitory to avoid arduous daily commutes home; and
- offer a safe, structurally sound, energy-efficient building for workers and customers.
This video includes an interview with the architect.