Our Artisan Partners in Ecuador are formally employed by the cooperative and have a long-term, stable work environment. They receive a guaranteed base salary, paid vacation and maternity leave, full health insurance, interest free loans, holiday bonuses, and retirement benefits. Because our Artisan Partners have access to a global market, they are able to preserve cultural traditions of crafting jewelry from natural materials sustainably harvested from the rainforest.
Marisela is a hard-working mother of five and a grandmother! She says this about working in the artisan workshop:
“It’s a very nice atmosphere. It’s calm, everybody is respected and we share a lot with each other. I get a lot from this work and I really appreciate it. I am more independent since I have this job… I also feel stronger, as a woman.
“Everybody can be themselves here in the workshop. We are happy and sad together, we laugh and grow together. There is no right or wrong as humans. Equality is a very important value here in the company. Here in the workshop everybody is the same. We work on the same products. Even though there are very different ethnicities here. On one hand there are the indigenous kichwa people and on the other hand mestizos, just like me. We are different in our habits or how we dress but as humans we are all the same. Nobody is treated differently. Even if one makes a mistake he is not worse than the others. We are all capable of accomplishing the same.”