“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” says an African proverb. Guatemala has a long way to go before its hard-working people reach decent living conditions. Despite being the strongest economy in the region, due to extremely high inequality Guatemala has some of the worst poverty rates, especially in rural and indigenous areas. But there are people who believe the positive change is possible and they make best efforts to see it happen soon. This year we are collaborating with some of these amazing souls to offer you unique hand-crafted holiday gift bundles which create economic opportunities for local communities. Alone we can do little, jointly we can do so much. Meet our partners, learn about the impact they make and let’s go together!
ITZA Wood crafts unique and stylish products, while carrying out the mission to break the cycle of poverty in the region of Petén, which is home to their workshop and where local communities have to struggle to ensure basic human services. Itza believes that change will come through education and enterprise. Not only do they create jobs, but they also support a local Jungle School and plan to open a vocational carpentry school, increasing the chances of local boys and girls to find regular and reliable work. Moreover, Itza stands firm in their commitment to ensure the tropical forest remains standing for generations to come. All the exotic wood they use is sustainably harvested and certified, and their reforestation project planted 45,000 trees before cutting a single one down.
Tierra & Lava
Tierra & Lava creates delicious, ethical, natural and luxury skin care products, while driving economic empowerment and creating positive social impact in marginalized communities in Guatemala. The ingredients are key for Lucy, the owner, who takes her inspiration from her love of food, an interest in Mayan rituals and uses of botanicals as alternative health care. Some ingredients are special because of the way they are sourced, others because of their traditional and sacred uses in the region where they come from. Tierra & Lava is also committed to implementing environmentally sustainable best practices such as zero waste production, re-usable packaging and solar powered web hosting.
The history of Cerámica Mayan-ke, the only high-temperature ceramic workshop in Central America, dates back to the early ’90s and since the very beginning the central part of their mission has been improving the quality of life of the local people by creating jobs in the community with otherwise very limited economic opportunities. It all started when an American sculptor and traveler Ken Edwards arrived in San Antonio Palopó. Enchanted by the beauty of the place and hospitality of the people, he decided to stay and teach ceramic craftsmanship to local youth. The ground turned out to be fertile and the students very dedicated, and the workshop grew quickly and soon gained recognition for high quality and outstanding design of their products. The entire production process is manual and takes place in a small in-home workshop by Lake Atitlán.
Lidia & Lilian Perez
Lidia & Lilian Perez are daughters of a coffee farmer and live in San Miguel Escobar. They have been making and selling peanut butter since 2010 alongside their peanut butter workshop. They don’t use chemical fertilizers or insecticides to grow their peanuts and enjoy their work from the moment they plant it up until tasting the exquisite peanut butter. Best of all, it’s delicious, healthy, and natural. The income has allowed Lilian to get education in business administration, and Lidia to go to the university to become a teacher.
Ixcacao is one of few companies in the world whose chocolate is made in the same region where the cacao is grown. Focusing on positive social and environmental impacts in indigenous communities across Guatemala they partner with cooperatives to directly source premium organic cacao. Ixcacao’s goal is that every person involved in growing, harvesting, handling and processing their cacao is paid and treated fairly. Moreover, 10% of company’s profit is donated to non-profit organizations that support local Mayan health, education, and sustainable alternative income generation programs.
Always Fresh and Salsi Puedes
Always Fresh and Salsi Puedes are both small-scale businesses that care about the quality of food. Drawing inspiration from abundance of fruit and vegetables grown in Guatemala, they experiment with flavors and ingredients to get often surprising, but always scrumptious combinations! All their product are 100% natural and made with artisanal processing and preservation techniques.
DLG holiday bundles are available for purchase only until November 30 and will ship from Guatemala the first week of December to arrive in time for the holidays. Want to send it as a gift? You can have it packed in a burlap gift bag with a personalized message!
Add some extra goodness to the act of giving!