Posts Tagged ‘women’s groups’

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.

 

Christian + Fair Trade + Eco Friendly Gifts

July 16, 2014

Need a gift? Read on to see some great Christian gifts in our webstore that will help you make a difference with your purchase! A difference because the producer, the maker of the product will receive a fair income for their work!

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We have clerical stoles in blue, green, and white.  What a wonderful gift for your deacons, elders, Pastor.  Have you thought about hanging them on the wall in the fellowship hall or in the church office?  These stoles have been handwoven on backstrap looms by our artisan group, Chuchi Weavers, and they are then meticulously hand embroidered in the gold threads.  Below is a photo of the weavers that you are helping when you purchase these stoles.

Chuchi Weavers

Chuchi Weavers

 

s20aOur prayer pockets were designed by one of our Board of Directors and she not only designed them but wrote the poem that goes with the little pocket.  Such a great gift for tucking into a greeting card!  We have fundraisers available with these prayer pockets so check out our Fundraising category in our webstore.  Great to earn money for a mission trip or for your church programs!

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A cross constructed  with  the intricate method of wheat weaving is another gift idea that is Fair Trade + Christian + Eco Friendly.  We have 2 sizes so you can order for gifts that could be hung on the wall, used as a gift package decoration or hung on the Christmas tree.  Perfect gift for Easter or Christmas.

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Friendship Bracelets are such fun and you can use them to share the Gospel with your friends.  We have English and Spanish versions!  Take some with you on a mission trip to Spanish speaking countries!

 

We have more Fair Trade Christian Gifts in our Etsy store too!

 

 

 

 

 

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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