At Far & Wide Collective, we are always on the lookout for beautifully-crafted products made by artisans who can benefit from our support and development. While we currently work with artisans in 13 post-conflict countries, we are constantly looking to add more as our partners. When we had the chance to travel to Guatemala just a few weeks ago, we jumped at the chance. Over one million Guatemalans, mostly indigenous communities, are engaged in craft-making, of which 70 percent are female.
The 8th annual New World Craft show was held in Antigua, Guatemala in early September and thanks to AGEXPORT, USAID and By Hand Consulting, Far & Wide was able to attend. There were just over 100 artisan groups exhibiting, who craft beautiful and high-quality products, including textiles, apparel, pottery and jewelry.
While in Antigua, we had the opportunity to meet Don Cesar. He comes from a family of four kids, of which he was the youngest. While he was in school, his father retired and soon after, the family ran out of money – there was not enough for him to finish school. So, at the age of 14, he decided to learn how to make shoes. Recently, he started making shoes with UTZ – a Guatemalan company that helps artisans distribute their products globally. Since beginning his work with UTZ, he has been able to build a second room and washroom in his house and tile the area where his wife works, making tortillas and beans to sell.
Antigua, Guatemala is a designated UNESCO world heritage site, with beautiful Spanish-Baroque influenced architecture. The city itself is quite impressive, with its perfect grid streets surrounded by three large volcanoes. It is truly a sight to see the lava on these volcanoes at night, and the smoke emerging from them during the day. See more images of the gorgeous landscape below.
- Anita Ramdas, COO, Far & Wide Collective
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