Guatemalan Eight-Strand Earth Bracelet
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You'll feel tied to the earth in this handcrafted treasure, made in Guatemala and inspired by an earth-creation story. Your purchase helps to empower and lift up women from rural and urban communities in Guatemala, a part of the world that many people call the "soul of the earth." Weaving jewelry gives these women a chance to earn a decent wage to provide their families with much-needed necessities.
According to the tale, when earth was created, it felt cold and dark. To remedy this, a sun was attached. But when the earth was resting it became dark again, so the earth was given the stars to light up the night. Then the earth began to get dry and breathless, so water and air were created. Although the earth was beautiful, nothing would grow on it. It felt sterile and needed life. So the earth was given trees and plants. While this made the earth happier, it still felt that something was missing. For the earth's pleasure, animals were created — animals that could live in the sea, and on the land. Earth enjoyed this, but still felt it was lacking something, and was in need of nurturing. So people were created. Now the earth felt nearly complete, but there was no connection between the trees, plants, animals, people, sun, stars, water, wind, and the earth. Then love was created, allowing everything to become one, and to finally feel connected.
Eight distinctly different bracelets in each set representing the Earth, Sun, Stars, Water & Air, Trees & Plants, Animals, People, and Love. The bracelets can be worn tied together into one large bracelet, or pulled apart into individual bracelets.
- Set of 8 individual bracelets
- Waxed thread, glass beads, metal beads, ceramic beads, metal clasps and fittings
- Approximately 7" L (17.8 cm)
- Handmade in and fairly traded from Guatemala
Created to help women worldwide gain economic security for themselves and their families by earning fair wages for their handiwork, Global Girlfriend sources women-made, fair-trade imported, eco-friendly products. By supporting long-term partnerships with the artisans, it fosters equal employment opportunities, healthy and safe working conditions, technical assistance, and development strategies to help reduce poverty, one community at a time. Become a "Global Girlfriend" and help build a brighter future for girlfriends around the globe!
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June 1, 2016 - I loved it so much I ordered like 6 more for my daughters and friends.
May 10, 2016 - Love the bracelet! Plan order more for Christmas if and when they go on sale again. The small strands do slide enough to slip over your hand which I had to work at a little to figure out.
May 3, 2016 - For those saying the bracelets are too small: Some of the bracelets are made with a loop and clasp system and some are made with an adjustable sliding system so they're actually NOT too small. For those, you just grasp the bracelet with two hands and pull in opposite directions. It will slide apart to make it bigger. Then you can slip it over your wrist (I can't imagine a wrist they won't fit on). To tighten it once it's on your wrist, you pull both ends of the strings (the knotted parts). Easy peasy. They'll fit just fine. The bracelets are beautiful and are very strong and well made. I love them.
March 12, 2016 - Bracelet came with 7 separate strands. All are each 7" long. Four have loop clasps and work well. Three do not have clasps so must be pulled over hand, but are way too small at 7" around to fit over my hand, so are useless.
March 10, 2016 - Well made and beautiful workmanship. Love the detail!
"We dream of an ideal world -- one where everyone lives in harmony, where diversity is celebrated, and where rights and responsibilities are treasured. These aspirations encourage us to find solutions in which prosperity and well-being are common to everyone." ~Maria Pacheco
Wakami, a fair trade enterprise founded by Cornell University graduate Maria Pacheco, collaborates with five rural artisan groups throughout Guatemala. A strong focus on community development, social entrepreneurship, and fair wages has vastly improved the lives of its eighty women artisans and their families.
Before they joined Wakami, these artisans had no market outlet for their work and no way to generate income. Most live in very small villages where there are no jobs, and many were forced to leave their children behind to take work in larger cities. For them, the income generated by Wakami is a dream come true, an opportunity to keep their families together and to send their children to school for the first time.
Located in the tiny village of San Lorenzo Pastores, Concepcion became Wakami's first artisan group in 2006. Economic opportunities were slim in the village then, and an important nutrition program was coming to an end -- jeopardizing the very health of the children. Local moms came together to find a solution, and Concepcion was born. The group has become very successful making and selling jewelry, and their families' lives have improved markedly. Inspired by their success and eager to apply their new business skills, Concepcion has opened a bakery and convenience store. "It has taken a lot of effort to start a business, but now, everybody in the village admires us," says group member Matilde. "We have been able to start something, that today is small, but in the future is going to be something really big. We know we still have to make a lot of sacrifices and work hard, but we are happy, because we can see the results every day."
The Monte Redondo group resides in Guatemala's central area, about 20 km from Guatemala City. Despite their close proximity to a large urban area, the community was as isolated as any in the remotest jungle. Twenty women artisans now belong to the group, supplementing their husbands' meager incomes. Group leader Sandra Solares puts it this way: "Wakami is a dream come true for my community. I feel satisfied to be the bridge that makes it possible for women in my community to generate income; this not only makes them feel important, but also helps them provide a better life to their kids. For me, Wakami is the force that gives me the opportunity to keep studying my communication career at the university."
These artisans were trained under the former First Lady of Guatemala's "Creciendo Bien" project, a program that teaches jewelry-making skills to underprivileged women. The artisans had the skills to produce lovely pieces, but had no way to get their work to market. They became a Wakami group in 2006, producing some of the organization's earliest collections -- earning a substantial income for the first time. Now, Dona Adela, the leader of the group, conducts ongoing training workshops. Her attitude is an example of great leadership: "We are very excited because we have good benefits, that is why we enjoy producing so much, a little piece of our heart goes in every product: Because we feel happy to have a job!"
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