Guatemala Learning Tour: Part II

Hi everyone.  My name is Kathi Panknen, and I am a volunteer at The Work of Our Hands as well as a board member.  I had the honor and privilege of going to Guatemala recently and was able to meet some of the artists.  I got to see firsthand, how fair trade helps people around the world, make a fair living wage and transforms lives. 

Meet Don Diego and his wife Raquel.  They live in Santiago which is located on Lake Atitlan.  They are a perfect example of what fair trade can do in people’s lives, families and communities.  Don Diego is a woodworker, and we purchase many of his items for our store, including the comfort cross.  His wife is also involved in the business.  She helps with the oiling of the wood and other things.  Raquel is also a beautiful embroiderer.  

Because of their partnership with UPAVIM and fair trade, they have been able to build a home not only for themselves, but also homes for their family.  They have also been able to provide jobs for some of the young men in their community.  In their woodworking business, they also represent another fair trade principle and that is sustainability.  They use every bit of the wood as well as just using old pieces of wood they find, such as coffee wood.  

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