What does the term Fair Trade mean? According to the World Fair Trade Organization, Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South.
We here at are happy to join in this trading partnership with ladies from a small village in Guatemala. We now carry handcrafted shoulder bags. The Spanish word for these are morrals. They were made in a small village in the Ixcan region of Guatemala. The women here as in many small rural villages work hard to keep their families intact. Many are poor and often the men of the family must leave and seek work elsewhere so that their families may survive.
The commissioned work on these bags was done according to Fair Trade Practices. Only adults performed the work and the women who created these beautiful bags were paid directly. The price for these bags was the market price of the region. In addition, the women were provided with the materials to make the bags.Pictured here is the lady who made most of these bags. AnaMaria works very hard to put food on the table for her family. The village where AnaMaria lives does not have running water. To make money, AnaMaria brings water to other people’s homes, carrying 3 tinajas at a time filled with water. A tinajas is a 3.5 gallon water jug. She carries one under her arm, one hanging from a strap down her back plus one on her head. For this labor, she is paid Q1 for each tinajas in Guatemala currency or the equivalent of $.12 in U.S. dollars. For this she can buy 2 rolls. For Q4, she can buy a pound of rice or a large bag of laundry soap. To put this into perspective, 1 gallon of water weights more than 8 pounds. At one time, she is carrying more 80 pounds of water.
Osmun Gifts heard about this village and the ladies through a contact that lived there. Great Commission Air was serving there. Great Commission Air provides Air Transportation for Christian Missions and Humanitarian Relief. They provide medical evacuation services for the injured, and transport medical volunteers and supplies to where they are needed in these rural regions. In addition, GCA provides transportation for Christian missions that are working to implement social programs and spiritual teachings. Please visit their website Great Commission Air for more information.
10% of all proceeds will go to the Great Commission Air. Regretfully, due to the violence in Guatemala, GCA had to leave their home there of almost 8 years. They will be relocating to Peru in 2012.
We hope you can join us in supporting this great cause by buying these beautiful handmade bags to enjoy yourself or to give as meaningful gifts for friends and loved ones.