Life's Gifts Necklace
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Life's gifts are many, but none more meaningful than the gift of helping others. Each pewter rectangular pendant is hung on a silver plated chain and finished with a tiny colored tassel. This necklace is great alone or layered and is handmade and fairly traded from a women's craft organization in Guatemala. This special collection of inspirational charm jewelry brings opportunities to women artisans of Kiej de los Bosques in Guatemala, women like Alejandra.
Alejandra had to leave school at the age of 13 to work as a maid in Guatemala City. She was married young and moved back to the rural village to farm but the family's income was insufficient. Then Alejandra met Kiej de los Bosques and formed her own rural craft cooperative group of women hand-crafting jewelry. This change allowed the women to provide better nutrition, medical care, and education for their families. Life's gifts are many, so choose a gift for yourself, and give them to your friends to help Alejandra and her cooperative pass the gift of a sustainable livelihood to their children and their community.
- Pewter & glass
- Matching tassel
- Approximately 18" L (45.7.8 cm)
- Handmade in and fairly traded from Guatemala
Created to help women worldwide gain economic security for themselves and their families by earning fair wages for their handiwork, Global Girlfriend sources women-made, fair-trade imported, eco-friendly products. By supporting long-term partnerships with the artisans, it fosters equal employment opportunities, healthy and safe working conditions, technical assistance, and development strategies to help reduce poverty, one community at a time. Become a "Global Girlfriend" and help build a brighter future for girlfriends around the globe!
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July 27, 2015 - I bought one for myself and several more as gifts. They are very pretty and I am pleased that the chain is a little longer than expected. I am glad I purchased.
April 22, 2015 - This is a beautiful necklace! I remember many times a day to believe in my many blessings, to remember Jesus, and thank God every day for my family & friends. I wear this necklace every day and get many complements. I would recommend this necklace to my friends.
January 12, 2015 - I had purchased 'strength' for me and later bought 'love' for my sister in law. Very pretty, says it all.
October 12, 2014 - Gave this to my daughter for a gift and she not only found the message inspiring but also was happy that the gift did so much more.
August 9, 2014 - This is a beautifully made necklace, just the right length. I've gotten compliments on it and its inspirational message ("believe"). I love what it stands for and where it comes from and will buy more. Highly recommend this as a gift for yourself or someone you care for.
Artisan: Kiej de los Bosques
"We dream of an ideal world -- one where everyone lives in harmony, where diversity is celebrated, and where rights and responsibilities are treasured. These aspirations encourage us to find solutions in which prosperity and well-being are common to everyone." ~Maria Pacheco
Kiej de los Bosques, a fair trade enterprise founded by Cornell University graduate Maria Pacheco, collaborates with five rural artisan groups throughout Guatemala. A strong focus on community development, social entrepreneurship, and fair wages has vastly improved the lives of its eighty women artisans and their families.
Before they joined Kiej de los Bosques, these artisans had no market outlet for their work and no way to generate income. Most live in very small villages where there are no jobs, and many were forced to leave their children behind to take work in larger cities. For them, the income generated by Kiej de los Bosques is a dream come true, an opportunity to keep their families together and to send their children to school for the first time.
Located in the tiny village of San Lorenzo Pastores, Concepcion became Kiej de los Bosques's first artisan group in 2006. Economic opportunities were slim in the village then, and an important nutrition program was coming to an end -- jeopardizing the very health of the children. Local moms came together to find a solution, and Concepcion was born. The group has become very successful making and selling jewelry, and their families' lives have improved markedly. Inspired by their success and eager to apply their new business skills, Concepcion has opened a bakery and convenience store. "It has taken a lot of effort to start a business, but now, everybody in the village admires us," says group member Matilde. "We have been able to start something, that today is small, but in the future is going to be something really big. We know we still have to make a lot of sacrifices and work hard, but we are happy, because we can see the results every day."
The Monte Redondo group resides in Guatemala's central area, about 20 km from Guatemala City. Despite their close proximity to a large urban area, the community was as isolated as any in the remotest jungle. Twenty women artisans now belong to the group, supplementing their husbands' meager incomes. Group leader Sandra Solares puts it this way: "Kiej de los Bosques is a dream come true for my community. I feel satisfied to be the bridge that makes it possible for women in my community to generate income; this not only makes them feel important, but also helps them provide a better life to their kids. For me, Kiej de los Bosques is the force that gives me the opportunity to keep studying my communication career at the university."
These artisans were trained under the former First Lady of Guatemala's "Creciendo Bien" project, a program that teaches jewelry-making skills to underprivileged women. The artisans had the skills to produce lovely pieces, but had no way to get their work to market. They became a Kiej de los Bosques group in 2006, producing some of the organization's earliest collections -- earning a substantial income for the first time. Now, Dona Adela, the leader of the group, conducts ongoing training workshops. Her attitude is an example of great leadership: "We are very excited because we have good benefits, that is why we enjoy producing so much, a little piece of our heart goes in every product: Because we feel happy to have a job!"
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