Posts Tagged ‘El Tablon’

So many colors I just can’t choose!

February 1, 2010

So many colors I can’t choose which to wear today!  One of our most popular necklaces — some with pendants and others are just the necklace.  Colors include: amethyst, blue, turquoise, peach, cream, gold, gunmetal iridescent gray, black and green.

These are our  most popular beaded necklaces because it goes well with everything! They are  made by the  artisan group from El Tablon, many of whom are widows or single mothers–your purchase of this Fair Trade necklace gives huge benefits to these women. 10 strand beaded necklace is approx 21″ long.

Check out our website for more information and ordering!  You know you need at least one color and think of the impoverished women who will be helped by your purchase!    You can also see all of our necklaces on our World Of Good listings.

Fair Trade Lanyard /Badge Holder

March 10, 2009

Are you a conference or convention organizer? Interested in providing Fair Trade products when possible at your conference?

Education And More has the answer —— a beautiful lanyard, badge holder for women.  It is a necklace and badge holder in one.

A new item that the group Mujeres Artesanas Analizadoras is making for us are these  beautiful, beaded lanyards or sometimes called  badge holders.  These lanyards were designed by Julia Yaxon and are just exquisite!

Artisan designed beaded lanyard

Fair Trade Beaded Lanyard / Badge HolderGuatemalan handcraft - beaded lanyard - badge holder

Is your women’s organization hosting a convention or conference?   These badge holders can make an ethical  statement that you are willing to treat your neighbors around the world with justice!   When you purchase these lanyards, instead of typical ones, the conference women will receive a beautiful remembrance of the convention.  They can be worn as a badge holder or when you remove it you  have a stunning necklace!

We have worked with Mujeres Artesanas near Solola, Guatemala for over a year  to help them with their business and sell their artisan handcrafts.  We work with them under Fair Trade Guidelines and not only pay a fair wage for their work but also help them in many other aspects of their business.  They recently received a grant from Education and More to improve their business.  We purchase or give advance credit to purchase beads in advance since they are unable to purchase sufficient quantities of beads for our orders.  Fair Trade gives a variety of benefits to the artisan!

Fair Trade badge holders for your group can be purchased in quantity at reduced prices.  Please check our website  for more information about the lanyards and then email us for wholesale pricing.  Whether you need 1 badge holder,  50 or 500 we can help you with a beautiful Fair Trade artisan crafted badge holder lanyard!

Artisan Fair Trade Handcrafts

March 2, 2009

We have received many new Fair Trade weavings and artisan handcrafts from our women’s artisan groups in Guatemala and now have them on our website.  Check out the webpages and see all the new listings of Guatemala handcrafts!

Woven on a backstrap loom!
Woven on a backstrap loom!

We have beautiful new blue and cream stripe weavings from Mujeres Artesanas in San Juan La Laguna.  This is really a gorgeous design and available as a table runner, hot pads, napkins or coasters- soon we will have placemats available too. The Guatemalan artisans weave these on backstrap looms and it is incredible to see the skill of the weaver in these weavings.

Hand made baskets

Hand made baskets

These little artisan baskets are

made by the women’s artisan group in El Tablon- Mujeres Analizadoras.  They collect the reeds in the mountains and bring them home to dry before weaving

into a variety of baskets.  We have this basket available now and will have more varieties later in the year.  Use the baskets around the house as a bread basket, tortilla basket, candy dish, to hold keys, etc on the dresser or any number of other ways.  Fill with Fair Trade tea bags or other gifts for a unique Birthday gift basket.  Each basket comes with a handwoven cloth.

Beaded Keychains

Two of our most popular handcrafted beaded keychains are the angels and stars.  They are great little add-on gifts or cute to tie onto the package. Order several to keep on hand for a spur of the moment gift!   Our women’s artisan group near Solola, Guatemala makes our beautiful beaded jewelry and it is a way for them to help support their family.

Remember these are all Fair Trade handcrafts and every purchase gives a great benefit to the artisan and her family in Guatemala.  Education And More guarantees all items on our website are Fair Trade!

Mujeres Analizadoras

January 28, 2009

Today was the presentation of a grant to Mujeres Analizadoras so we met with nearly the entire group in their workplace. Julia is the president of the group.  Fifteen of the women were present and they were all excited to receive the grant of $250 to benefit their business. Grant applicants were required to fill out a 3 page application and one question they answered was ´how will you use the grant money if you are selected?´  Mujeres Analizadoras will use it as a revolving fund to help them buy materials more economically -at a wholesale price.  Eventually they will use some of the grant to help 4 more women join the group  and earn an income by teaching them the weaving and beading.

To get to their little workshop which is part of Julia´s house, you get off the chicken bus on the highway and walk down a narrow path through the cornstalks for about 1/8  mile and there is a small community of homes and also Julia´s house. In the rainy season it is a difficult trek because the ground is a slippery lot of mud.  So much of their daily lives  are difficult and strenuous and it is dificult to put into perspective for us from the U.S.

Judy, a volunteer with Education And More had brought a large amount of sewing supplies which was a gift from the women at her church in Portland Oregon.  The gift included scissors, needles, thimbles, embroidery thread, yarn, etc and the women´s group were thrilled.  They were extremely grateful and appreciative for the grant money and the sewing supplies. They presented Judy and I with a small token of their appreciation which was a hand woven, hand made purse.

Education And More purchases jewelry for Mujeres Analizadoras and they make some beautiful, high quality pieces.  We take a sample of what we want and they craft it, keeping track of the time it takes to make it and what the cost of materials are for each piece.  We purchase the materials for the products in advace for them because typically they can´t afford to buy materials themselves.  This is one of the guidelines of Fair Trade — giving advance credit or purchase of materials in advance when needed.

The group does quality checks on their work but in  checking our order this time we found some problems and ask them to correct them and work on their quality checks.  A new product we are working with them on is tortilla baskets. They are doing wonderful designs in several  styles of baskets  and we will have them available soon.  They collect the natural reeds, dry them then weave the baskets.

Many of the women of Mujeres Analizadoras are widows or their husbands have just left them  so they are trying to support their family by themsleves. It is very gratifying to work with and help this  group of women who are such hard workers and it is also very rewarding to watch this group grow and develop their business and we look forward to a close relationship with them for years to come.

Mujeres El Tablon

January 18, 2009

We work with Mujeres Analizadoras in El Tablon (spelled Ixkoqa Tzoiojya in their Kakchiquel language) which is a chicken bus ride away from Panajachel. Typically I take the bus to Solola and then have the Association´s president, Julia, meet me there to take me on to her house and meet with the women. I am not sure I could make the bus driver understand or hear me over the din of the chicken bus and get him to stop at the right spot on the highway near the group. This morning it was jammed full because  it was market day in Solola— which is good because then you don´t fall out of your seat into the aisle as you careen around the mountain.

Julia was late in meeting me in Solola because she had to take her son to the clinic to have a tooth pulled- and he looked like he was really hurting when we finally met up to go to El Tablon.  This is a good reminder to me of their difficult lives–no basic health care to speak of because they cannot afford it and all little problems and difficulties are made worse because of extreme poverty.

I met with several of the group members in the house they use as their work area and meeting place. We went over the order we had placed with them to check the work and make sure everything was as we wanted it but had to reject a few items because it was not as ordered.  They realize the quality standards we impose are for the benefit of the group because sales will be greater with premier quality.

One of the new products we worked with them in designing was a beaded lanyard necklace. They did an excellent job in making a simple but beautiful necklace that doubles as a lanyard.  These will be available on our website soon but will also be available in pricing for large quantities to women’s conventions, i.e.— your women’s church convention. For convention goers it will be a lasting remembrance that your convention organizers chose a Fair Trade lanyard that will help support women and their families in Guatemala.

Our meeting lasted over 3 hours because we are also working with them on designing more crafts.  Returning to my hotel, via 2 different chicken bus ride segments, again in buses packed full was another exhilarating experience.  It was so full that I had to stand on the door steps and was really hoping the driver didn’t make any fast curves because the door was always open.  Finally I got to move into the bus further and got a seat when a few people got off the bus. These old U.S. school buses make for a harrowing ride around the mountain curves because the drivers I am sure make more money the more trips they can make!

Well, I am back in Panajachel and Julia’s son will feel better now that his bad tooth has been pulled.  The chicken buses will continue to make their runs as fast as possible and packed with as many people as possible ………daily life in rural Guatemala.