The Covid19 has deeply affected the main economic activity of the Toba Qom artisans. The production of handicrafts (including basketry, jewelry and textiles) is crucial for their economic income and for transferring their ancestral knowledge and culture to new generations. We aim to continue supporting the community and help them strengthen their business by obtaining an appropriate and safe selling point for their crafts, adapted with all health-related conditions to confront the pandemic.
The Toba Qom artisans do not have an appropriate sales location adapted to the health-related conditions requested as a consequence of the pandemic. 40% of the population dedicates themselves to making crafts such as baskets and fabrics out of wool, karaguata (a tropical plant of the Bromeliaceae family), palm leaf, feather, and wood. They currently have a rudimentary and abandoned construction near their village, which they wish to restore and use as a handicraft store and cultural center.
The restoration of this old building will allow the community to have a healthy and safe place to receive customers. Restoration will involve improving the ceiling, ventilation, bathroom, hand washing facility and showroom. Also, indicative signage to make the handicraft store more visible and attractive. The space is planned to serve multiple purposes (craft exhibition, gatherings and workshops). Funding will be for the restoration work and part for building capacity and workshops for artisans.
By helping the Toba Qom community artisans in Cerrito restore their local handicraft shop you will be ensuring a definitive, appropriate and safe space that will allow them to promote their culture. This space will serve as a place to display and sell the crafts of the more than 70 Rio Verde Qom artisans helping them generate income. In the long term, we hope this space is used to strengthen the Qom cultural identity and raise awareness in the value and fair trade of their products.