Most women in Bolivia help to support family expenses with day work. Many are also skilled at local handcrafts, baking, and gardening. They can supplement their meager income through sale of these items locally.
Handcrafts can also be exported to fair trade stores in the United States. The fair trade movement aims to help producers get a fair price for their products, which are often made with locally-sourced materials. Fair trade aims to reduce poverty, provide for ethical treatment of producers and workers, and promote environmentally sustainable practices.
Connie De Jong, co-founder of Refugio Rafael and Creative Director of World Peaces, a fair trade retail and wholesale business, works with local artisans in Bolivia, helping them develop handcrafted products for sale in the United States.
Current Status: Refugio Rafael has a spinning and weaving artisan group where women can increase their skills for marketing items in the USA. The community also houses a small bakery, chicken coop, and garden for food production. Residents can provide some of their own food as well as receive income from local sales.
Monetary and In-kind Gifts
purchase Bolivian fair trade items
money to support local artisan mentors
Chickens and Chicken feed
volunteer at a fair trade store
on site artisan mentoring