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 how to craft a better net, he eats for a lifetime.” Possibly not as catchy…but it’s a good illustration of one of the important principles of fair trade — capacity building.
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 came to power in the area, and as a result, traces of the culture remain very much alive even today. Continue reading
In Guatemala, over a million children are not in school — one in 28, according to a UNESCO educational report. Many kids are working to support their families, while others would go to school if their parents could afford the fees. Although primary school in Guatemala is ostensibly free and compulsory, only thirty percent of students who begin school finish the six years of primary school. While school is theoretically free, in reality, there are high registration fees, costs for materials such as textbooks, and more, putting even basic education outside of the realm of possibility for many families. Those who drop out are disproportionately rural and from indigenous families, just like the ten students who are receiving scholarships through Unique Batik.
Last week, in our first post, we promised you a glimpse into how your purchases from Unique Batik benefit artisans. Although a lot of consumers have become more educated about fair trade, it’s a term with a lot of meaning behind it, so we thought it would be helpful to unpack a little of that meaning by taking a look at the principles of fair trade and what it means to be a fair trader.
Here at Unique Batik, we think it’s time to let our fans know about the great work their purchases support, so follow our new blog to meet our artisans, get behind the scenes glimpses of our design process, and learn more about our fair trade business practices. There are so many stories to tell, and we can’t wait to share them with you! In the next month, you will hear from Carmela, one of the artisans behind our beaded jewelry , get an in depth look at our scholarship program in Guatemala, and have a sneak peek at upcoming bags for spring. And that’s just the beginning… Continue reading