Although the pandemic made it much worse, most Latin American artisans and especially indigenous artisans have difficult to earn a living wage by selling their crafts. There are two important reasons for this. They often make goods that they like, not the market. Also, their only customers are those that walk by their small storefronts or souvenir shops. We are asking for your donation to improve our e-commerce store so that anyone can buy their awesome crafts from anywhere.
Latin American artisans, and particularly indigenous artisans, have been unable to earn a living income from selling their crafts. They often can only sell their detailed and beautiful goods to people that pass by their store. Consequently, few people ever see the results of their incredible generational expertise and so they become dependent upon tourists.
We started an e-commerce nonprofit company that once it matures will maintain itself from the sales of artisan goods. The artisans will have a place to market their wares that doesn't directly depend upon tourism or local economy. Due to poor sales, the next-generation artisans are choosing to work in grocery stores, etc., rather than the family businesses. Without artisans learning the time-honored techniques and skills, their cultural heritage, traditions, and societies are threatened.
Not only individuals, but families and communities will benefit. Already we have had family groups transition to make the crafts. In time, entrepreneurial women and men can learn the entire digital processes and then, if they choose, can start their own companies. They can be a part of world-wide e-commerce, but still retain their indigenous heritage and unique artistry. We are now working in Costa Rica and Mexico, but plan to expand the program across Latin America.