One of our favorite things about buying Fair Trade is that every purchase is so much more than that. We love learning about the webs of incredible work that our partners do for the communities they live. in and serve. Check out this incredible story from Central America.

In the beautiful Guatemalan highlands, many families live disenfranchised lives. Though the fruits of their traditional crafts – vibrant, multicolored weavings– are in high demand worldwide, the cutthroat quest for profit  forces many textile artists to sell their crafts for pennies in order to be able to sell them at all. This situation, compounded by a lack of social resources and, often, an inability to speak the national language, leaves many people struggling to thrive and even survive. And as is so often the case, there is a subset of people who feel the consequences of this most acutely: women.

Enter Mayan Hands. Based in nearby Albany, NY, this incredible Fair Trade organization works across this region of Guatemala with tiny workshops and community cooperatives to help weaving women find their economic voice. By working with Mayan Hands, more than 200 women have new access to global markets willing to pay fair prices for their handiwork, allowing them to provide for and educate their children.

The work doesn’t stop there. Mayan Hands provides a variety of seminars and resources for its artisan partners – everything from courses on business development and training on gender role awareness, to resources for victims of domestic violence, to scholarship programs for their children to attend University. Through this holistic cooperation between hardworking women and Mayan Hands, hundreds of children are set up to live better lives than their parents.

One World Goods carries stunning wall hangings, warm oven mitts, practical baskets and more crafted by Guatemalan weavers represented by Mayan Hands. Stop in today to see their beautiful work, and take a piece home, knowing that your purchase plays a part in changing lives.