Guatemala: Joy in the trenches

War can leave a deadly legacy long after its ‘finish’. Guatemala’s civil war ended in the 90’s but the country still hovers at the top of the charts for violent crimes, drug cartels and pedophile rings. Daily life can, then, still feel somewhat like a battle zone

The town of La Ezperanza is translated ‘Hope’. Women in that town gathered to bring change. They chose to do so in its infamous ‘Red Zone’:  a part so dangerous that tourists are warned not to visit. Hope, though, drove these women on.

They formed a FairTrade group UPAVIM, a Spanish acronym which, in translation, means “United for a better life’. Together they are literally and figuratively ‘crafting’ a different future.

 

“The beautiful colors, the conversations shared over cups of coffee, the sound of children’s laughter, and the collective force of empowered women make [it] an inspirational and joyful place to live and work,” say staff.

“By earning a fair wage we have been able to pull ourselves out of poverty, improve our living conditions, feed and care for our families, and send our children to school.”

It’s difficult to reconcile the beautiful, joyful products with the grief that some of their creators have endured, raising their children on the front lines of fear and violence. We’re glad to walk with them in bringing their story of courage and their handiwork to a global audience.

Our Global Handicrafts shop now sells their products.

It’s difficult to reconcile the beautiful, joyful products with the grief that some of their creators have endured, raising their children on the front lines of fear and violence. We’re glad to walk with them in bringing their story of courage and their handiwork to a global audience.

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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