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Economic/Fair Trade Handcraft Development

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. 

Wish List


Monetary and In-kind Gifts

  purchase Bolivian fair trade items

  money to support local artisan mentors

  Chickens and Chicken feed

  garden tools

  artisan supplies


Volunteer Help

  fund raising

  grant writing

  volunteer at a fair trade store

  on site artisan mentoring



Refugio Rafael

is located in the heart of a Quechua community outside the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia. People in this Andes Mountain agricultural area provide for their families through roadside markets and day labor. Living conditions in the villages are simple.  Clothes are washed by hand. There may be no indoor plumbing. Small vegetable gardens and chickens provide food. Meals are prepared on small propane burners. Electricity is limited. 

The refugio is a  unique  community support facility, staffed by local people and assisted by international partners. It provides supplemental education, economic development, medical assistance, and a secure home for families.


After School Program

The Community Center classrooms and dedicated educators provide over 100  children with homework help, tutoring,  mentorship, creative play and storytelling.


Economic Development 

The refuge provides work space and mentors for artisans to develop handcrafts and goods for  local and international markets.


Health and Wellness

A health and wellness program provides education and support for community members. The Health Clinic will provide  medical/dental consultation.



A Secure Home

Housing units and staff provide a place where families at risk can be supported in a traditional home setting.  Families receive housing, food assistance , medical, and social services. 

Global Gallery is a Fair Trade coffee shop, gift shop and art gallery with a mission. We’re dedicated to promoting Fair Trade handcrafted products from around the world while developing cultural enrichment through educational workshops and social events.


Come relax, study, or discuss in our cafe or patio.


Visit our site at


Women Crafting Change brings together women of various immigrant and socioeconomic communities to collectively work on art projects. Our program is focused on providing women with creative and practical job training through the creation and production of hand crafts.


Visit our site at

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