Posts Tagged ‘Fair Trade benefits’

Helping to Educate Sergio

November 21, 2014

I would like  you to meet Sergio!

DSC04985Sergio is the son of one of our artisans and would very much like to finish high school and go on to the University.

His mother is a single mother with 2 boys to care for and is needing help with the cost of educating Sergio so he can finish his last year in high school next year and then perhaps go on to the University.

They live in a two room home with no electricity or running water.  His mother has been using all of her available money to try to keep her two boys in school.  Sergio’s grades are excellent so we are hoping to find a sponsor or receive donations for his education.

More information about our sponsorship program is on our website:

 

 

 

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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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Backstrap Weaving Essentials

April 28, 2014

Education And More carries a variety of backstrap weaving items in our online store and also in our Etsy store.   If you are a beginning weaver or wanting to learn the backstrap loom we have everything you need — 3 sizes of looms, several colors of backstrap belts, naturally dyed yarn, Mayan ikat yarns,  loom bags and typical Guatemalan handcarved drop spindles.

The yarn we sell is the typical yarn used by our Mayan artisans to produce the beautiful Fair Trade weavings in our webstore.  It has been naturally dyed by them using plants, barks, vegetables, fruits, etc.  The yarn is a very fine cotton yarn similar to 18/2 here in the States and produces extremely durable, long lasting  and exquisite textiles.

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If you would like to have an example of a warped up backstrap loom to look at when you are learning to weave, then look at our decorative looms that are a perfect wall decoration as well as being a perfect sample of warping.

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Ikat yarns are used frequently by our Mayan friends in their weavings to add a unique design element.  We have several colors of the ikat in our webstore also.  Be sure to look closely at the weavings in our store to see all the different ikat designed textiles we carry.t22c

One of our popular items is our loom bags.  The fabric for these duffel style bags is handwoven on a backstrap loom then sewn by the artisans and is a perfect bag for carrying your ‘work in progress’  or storing your loom!

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We carry 3 sizes of backstrap looms — 8 inch, 12 inch, and the large is 18 inch.  They have been hand carved by a Mayan artisan who supports his family with sales of his handcarved looms.  He lives near the top of a volcanic mountain in the western highlands of Guatemala in a small village and carves the rustic looms for local sales as well as his sales to Education And More.  He receives a fair trade income  from E&M  for all the looms we purchase and it helps his family in so many ways.

Stop by and see  all our hand weaving accessories!

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Help Us Help Families in Guatemala!

March 21, 2014

Our program ‘Healthy Homes Healthy Families’ will begin this summer to repair homes of our artisans.  We are raising funds to do all the projects that the families need to have a healthier home for their children. Read more about our projects at our website and then decide if you can help us.

Even a little helps a lot!

  • Corrugated roofing material for one family – $18 for each 10 foot section
  • New wood burning kitchen stove for a family –  $200
  • Cement and materials  for a new floor for a family – $250
  • Wood to repair roof before covering with new roofing material – $130 for one home
  • New chimney for the kitchen stove – $40

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We still have a few open spots on our mission team if you are interested in traveling to Guatemala to help with the building projects.

 

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Guate July 046

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Healthy Families and Healthy Homes

February 11, 2014

Education And More has initiated a program to help our artisan families improve their homes and thereby improve the health of their families.  We have helped and worked with our artisan partners for many years and even with the earnings from their handcraft businesses it is still not sufficient to fulfill the needs of the families. The needs are great and they daily confront: insufficient food, unhealthy and unsafe cooking stoves, homes needing repair, insufficient income.

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We have identified many homes that need help to repair or replace the corrugated tin roofs. The roofs are rusted and have holes in them which lets the rain in during the rainy season and since many of these homes have dirt floors the family then lives in a cold, wet, muddy home. These conditions are extremely unhealthy for the children and adults alike. It is very cool at night because the people we serve live in the highlands at an altitude of 4000 feet and more.

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The typical kitchen stove of our artisan groups is a concrete block stove similar to a barbecue grill which uses a tremendous amount of wood. Many of the stovepipes are blocked with creosote or simply not working and the smoke then fills the kitchen area which is extremely hazardous for the women who are in the kitchens cooking. Some of the women have nothing but a campfire pit in the middle of their one room home and it is a hazard for the young children as they play in the house and the little ones learning to walk. Replacing or repairing the stoves improves the respiratory health of all the family and the risk of the little children falling into the fires are eliminated. We will replace the stoves with an energy efficient stove that uses 60% or more less wood resulting in less deforestation which is prevalent in Guatemala.

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Read how you can help us in our work to help the families at our website or join us on a mission trip and help repair the homes.

Our next mission service trip to help the families

will be June 14 – 22, 2014.

Join us on this trip to help the families in Guatemala.

For more information about our Healthy Families / Healthy Homes program click here.

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Team is ready to work!

Team is ready to work!