With their income, artisans have made their homes safer with improvements like smokeless stoves and solar light bulbs. They’ve empowered their entire communities to thrive by investing in organic farming, water filtration, and business development. Many are now able to send their children to school and return to school themselves.
Eva is the third daughter in a family of six children. She can read and write, but like many of her female peers, she left school as a young child in order to work. Eva picked coffee and plums in the fields, earning less than $1.00 a day. She gave half to her mother to support the family.
When she was 15, Eva learned of a fair trade cooperative that would teach her how to make jewelry. Though it would pay more, she was hesitant: it is not culturally encouraged for women in Guatemala to earn their own income. Eventually, with the support of her mother, she joined the group. She quickly excelled to teaching new artisans the techniques of the cooperative.
Now Eva is not just surviving — she is thriving! She dreams of returning to school to become a teacher.