Guatemalan Traditions: Natural Dyes

Income is more valuable than ever for women in Guatemala, as construction jobs are disappearing for their husbands. Many women are now the sole wage earners in their households. With pressure to support their families and raise their children, Natural Dye Co-ops are popping up all over Guatemala. Unique Batik partners with natural dye artisans…

10 Simple Ideas for Summer Entertaining

This is our absolute favorite time of year. The warmer temperatures outside have everyone out of their winter slumber and ready to get social. Whether you want to host a backyard barbecue or a weekend brunch, we have 10 Simple Ideas to make Backyard Entertaining an absolute breeze! 1.Design an easy menu Choose easy dishes…

New for Spring – Florecita Line

Coco Chanel iconisized the Little Black Dress, a simple design that any woman could keep in her closet and dress up or down depending on the occasion. Created to match anything and everything, the versatility of a basic wardrobe piece is the reason that the LBD continues to resonate nearly 100 years later. And our…

Artisan Spotlight: Carmelita Ramos

In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re reposting this Artisan Spotlight on one of our favorite leaders: Carmelita Ramos. Enjoy! Sparkling beads dance across her hands as Carmelita Ramos creates earrings and bracelets to sell to customers in the distant land of the United States. Her dreams of earning a living and educating her children…

Principles of Fair Trade: Capacity Building

We have all heard the old adage “give a man a fish, he eats for a day; teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.” Perhaps a better adage for the world of fair trade would be “buy fish from a man for a fair price, he eats for a year; show him…

Batik: Layered Beauty

Batik has been around for centuries, in lands as diverse as Japan, India, and Egypt. As an art form that grew and thrived in multiple cultures before the time of recorded history, it is impossible to trace its direct origins, but there is no doubt about its popularity in West Africa today. Textiles have long…

Molding a Better Future: Ceramics of San Antonio Palopo

The highlands of Guatemala have a rich geological history; through years of volcanic eruptions, various types of rock, sand, and ash have combined to create channels of clay in the exposed river systems of the highland valleys. This clay is perfect for making high quality ceramics. In the 1990s, his search for just such a…

Artisan Profile: Francisco Jimon

The mountainous village of Sacualpa in the Quiche region of Guatemala is off the beaten tourist path, and artisans there have fewer opportunities to sell their goods. Francisco Jimon leads a group of five people who make machine embroidered textiles using locally made backstrap loomed fabric. The group is made up of Francisco, his brother,…

Guest Blogger Amy Kay’s Trip to Guatemala

I’m something of an impostor… a fraud, in fact.  Although I’m posing as a business person and own a Fair Trade store, I’m really just a minister. After serving the church for 11 years, I began following my husband’s career four years ago and the result has been a lot of substitute preaching, serving part-time…

Introduction to The Modern Maya

Once one of the most powerful civilizations in Central America, the Maya people remain an integral part of Guatemala. The rise of the Maya civilization began thousands of years ago and spread across what it now southern Mexico all the way to modern-day Honduras. The Maya civilization lasted longer than any other Mesoamerican culture that…