Archive for the ‘Women’ Category

Life Changing Gift for Families!

April 2, 2015

Fundraising For Homes To Help Women and Children

 

We are kicking off our 2015 Fundraising Campaign with the goal of raising $25,000 to repair 25 of our artisans homes to help our artisans and their children live in healthier, safer homes.

Most of our artisans live in very simple one or two room homes.  Some do not have electricity, many have dirt floors or leaking roofs, others need a new wood burning stove for their kitchen. With a little help from our donors and supporters we will be able to help these families.

 

Fair Trade artisan home in Guatemala


 

Please help us help the women and their families with your donation! If you would like to get a group together to go to Guatemala then contact us about setting up a mission trip to help repair their homes.
What a life changing gift this is for families!

Learn more at our website – Education And More.

 

Mayan artisans in Guatemala
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When Are You Coming Back?

March 19, 2015

Yes, that is what we hear from our women’s groups.  “When are you coming back again!”  We recently began a new mothers and toddler’s Bible study and the women have told us how much they really love the study. This new Christian Bible study has been made possible by a grant from the Lorenz Family Foundation and we are very grateful to have received the grant so that we can bring a Bible study to mothers and their little children.

Bible Study in Guatemala

The women in these groups almost exclusively speak the Mayan language of Kakchiquel so our Bible study presenters must also translate from Spanish into Kakchiquel.  Each group gathers together once a month for a Bible study and fun for the little toddlers.  They have told Araceli, our Guatemalan Program Coordinator, that they are so grateful to have the opportunity to learn about Jesus.  Because they do not have a church close to them, they rarely get to hear God’s Word and learn about His son, Jesus Christ. Of course sometimes the older children are not in school that day and they also come with mama to the Bible study!

Christian Bible Study in Guatemala

Araceli and our presenters reported that the little toddlers had a lot of fun too. The Bible study involves a tomato worm and they all learn about the “Fruit of the Spirit.” There is a lot of interaction among the presenters and the toddlers with puppets, games, crafts and real fruit to emphasize the lesson.

Learning about Jesus!

VBS in Guatemala

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girl in Guatemala

Watch for more information about our Christian outreach programs in Guatemala on our website and also  in this blog.  If you would like to receive our newsletter you can sign up on our website or also at this link.

 

Bracelets for Friendship Day!

July 23, 2014

Have you heard about was Friendship Day.  I don’t remember hearing about it but what a great idea!

Friendship Day, by some sources, was started in 1919 by the Hallmark Company but eventually died out although it was revived in 1935 when Congress set the first Sunday in August as Friendship Day here is the U.S.A.  The United Nations recognized International Friendship Day in 2011.

I think it is time I get on the ball and let my friends know about Friendship Day.  I think I will send a card or maybe  spend time with my  friends via FaceTime or Skype and for all my friends reading this you may get a little remembrance from me too.

If you want to give a little gift then order some of Education And More’s friendship thread bracelets.  We have lots of styles and colors in our Etsy store and also in our online store. They are very inexpensive and what a great little remembrance! Since they are a fair trade handcraft you will be giving a gift to the artisan who made the bracelet as well as your friends!

 

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As C.S. Lewis said,

” Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather is one of those things that give value to survival. “

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Have fun and enjoy your friends on

Friendship Day  this year– August 3, 2014.

Maria’s New Home

July 2, 2014

Maria was very grateful for all the work that our mission team did on her home a couple of weeks ago because she has lived in a one room adobe house that had a dirt floor and a leaking tin roof. The walls of her home are nearly all black because of the soot / creosote from the cooking fires.  For years she just used a small campfire in the middle of the room to cook meals  and finally  was able to purchase a small wood burning stove but did not vent it to the outdoors so with both of these types of fires all the smoke stayed in the room.

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She now has a beautiful new wood burning stove that will take all the smoke out of the room and will use less wood for the cooking fire.  We are grateful to Carlos and Joe, our local friends, for helping us with our construction projects and the replacement of the stoves. We couldn’t do it without them and their team!

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Maria’s new roof means that no rain coming into the home and with a new cement floor the whole family will be warmer and drier during the rainy season! No more mud floors!   The electrical wiring in the home was dangerous so Carlos decided it was best to completely replace it and now Maria will have a much safer home.

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One of the team members gave a Prayer Shawl to Maria as a parting gift along with a prayer.  The shawls were given by Grace Lutheran Church in Tomahawk Wisconsin. Thanks so much to the women of the church that crocheted and knitted all the Prayer Shawls!

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Maria’s little daughter summed up all the changes to her home when she came and took my hand and said ‘I love my new home!”  What a precious moment!!

Our thanks to the donors, the mission team, Carlos, Joe, the local workers, the families that helped and the Board Members of E&M that had the vision to start a program like this!

 

Dynamic Little Lady!

June 27, 2014

I would like to introduce you to one of our artisans who is really a little dynamo!  She is a very tiny little lady but is filled with energy and determination.  Vicenta and her husband live in the rural highlands with their 7 children and nearby are many extended family members.

She is a master weaver on the backstrap loom and floor looms — called a foot pedal loom by the artisans — and she has taught her daughters to weave on both looms too.

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Vicenta’s family and her whole community are Kakchiquel Mayans and very typical of the wonderfully warm and friendly people we meet in the western highlands of Guatemala.  Many of these rural families don’t understand the importance of education, however, Vicenta and her husband are different in that they are adamant about their children attending school. Thanks to a sponsor in our Education Program their oldest daughter, Laura,  is able to go on to career school to become a bilingual secretary.  It is very difficult for families to afford schooling after grade school and junior high school so we are very appreciative of all our sponsors and the help it brings to the families!

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On our recent trip to Guatemala Victor and Vicenta’s home was one of the homes that our mission team repaired with the help of our local friends, Joe and Carlos.  Her kitchen was an adobe structure with a low ceiling, earthquake damage and a stove that did not vent so all the smoke stayed in the kitchen.  Victor and Vicenta decided to remove the old structure and had sufficient money to build new walls and the mission team did the floor, roof, new stove and new electrical wiring.

 

 

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The family is so happy with their new kitchen. We are really happy to see the progress this family has made through the years because of their hard work and  determination along with the Fair Trade wages they receive from Education And More  for all the products they make.

Vicenta cooking in her new kitchen!

Vicenta cooking in her new kitchen!

If you are interested in traveling to Guatemala on a mission trip to help repair homes or teach VBS be sure to check our website for new 2015 tours that will be listed soon.  We will be working in this village next year and helping several more of the artisan families by repairing their homes.

Some of the handcrafts that Vicenta and her group have made are shown here. See all of our Fair Trade handcrafts in our webstore and in our Etsy store. 

Kitchen Towels

Kitchen Towels

 

Scarf / Shoulder Wrap

Scarf / Shoulder Wrap

 

Tablecloth and napkins

Tablecloth and napkins

 

Beautiful scarves and shawls

Beautiful scarves and shawls

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Warping The Loom

April 10, 2014

For non weavers it seems a difficult and daunting tsak to get the yarn from the skeins onto the looms, known as ‘warping the loom’ in weaving lingo.   I am sure the job is similar with weavers around the world but here I will show you how our artisans in Guatemala warp their looms.

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If the yarn is in skeins the weaver winds it onto spools.  These are homemade spools and the winder you can see is made from a bicycle wheel and is done for warping the foot pedal looms.

The process is a little different for the backstrap loom but the yarn still needs to be warped and the transferred to the loom. Typically they just lay the yarn on the yarn winder also called a swift and put the yarn on the warping board from there.

Yarn is typically  transferred from the swift to the warping board for a backstrap loom.

Yarn is typically transferred from the swift to the warping board for a backstrap loom.

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It is incredible to me that weavers can plan the weaving and get the yarn on the huge warping board/ wheels in the needed pattern for the large floor looms. Below is the urdidor / warping wheel used for the foot pedal loom by our artisans.

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After the yarn has been warped it is transferred to the loom and the weaving begins.

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Putting the warp on the backstrap loom

Putting the warp on the backstrap loom

 

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Hand weaving is very labor intensive but produces beautiful textiles that will last for years.  Our artisans produce several weights of cloth on their  floor looms and backstrap looms-  from fine dress weight cloth to heavy upholstery weight textiles.

We have a wide assortment of their weavings in our online  webstore here

and also in our Etsy shop here.