We are back from another wonderful month in Guatemala, where we spent Christmas and New Year's. As always, we have brought back many new & wonderful things.
Our store is now
OPEN FOR BUSINESS for 2017!
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Our Christmas Trip to Guatemala December 20, 2016 to Jan 20, 2017 Shipping resumes on January 22, 2017. Feel free to order or email us at AtitlanArts@gmail.com. Let us know, so if we do not have all products in stock we will be sure to try and bring back whatever your heart desires.
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We are in Guatemala, picking up products, working with the artisans, distributing Christmas bonuses and most importantly, setting up our Education Scholarships for 2017. I am the happiest and most proud of all to be able to do this for the artisans and their children who do such beautiful work and earn so little money.
Even though we are "fair trade," competition and the world market controls the prices that we can pay for the products we sell, and the price we can sell them for.
Even though we can and do pay "better than most," it's still not enough to raise earnings to the level required for a university education for the children of the artisans we work with. THIS YEAR, we can now share our own good fortune through retirement funds and a small inheritance spread over the next two years. We will be able to send at least 24 students to school.
This is a real blessing from above, and one I have wanted to do for the last ten years ~ since the day Atitlan Arts was born.
Higher Education and Professional Careers are the things most necessary in Guatemala and what we would most like to focus on, and we believe that any child who wants to go to school should be able to go to school, even though education in Guatemala is not free. We have always helped with medical and educational expenses, but we are finally in a position to help with long-term educational goals and help these students achieve them.
You can read more in our "About" or "Community" pages on our website. Thank you to all our customers and God Bless!
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Back from Guatemala!
July 2016 ~ Store is Open.
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Fabric Arts and Beadwork
in our workshop / atelier ("taller")
Everyone works together and is so happy doing so.
It's the magic of faith, patience, pardon and prayer, which the artisans have taught me, by showing me every single day.
smaller ones available for much less. Custom requests for any color combination or size.
DESIGN WORK ~ EMBROIDERY BEADWORK & CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS
How it begins:
Tania working on our Gringa Guipiles with embroidered and beaded grape leaves and trapunto quilting; Lida & Claudia working on new Christmas ornaments with beads and crystals and poinsettia "joyería" (jewelry). We have many more artisans that do a whole variety of styles and materials, and I will begin posting more photos in the coming months. I have never been around more creative people in my life & it's such a blessing to be here. We can open international markets for them and their beautiful work.
Gracias a Dios!
Fair Trade Pricing & Our Artisans
About Us, New Pricing & "Fair Trade"
Uploading new products again, as we do twice a year.
Take a look at our new metal hammered keychains in gold and silver, with curb chains. They are just beautiful. Enjoy!
We have over 250 new keychain images uploaded... and have another 250 new jewelry pieces to add. Please note our new pricing, as we have finally had to raise keychain and some other prices 50 cents to $1.00 each. Bead and material costs have risen over the past couple of years, and we have tried to absorb the cost. At this point we have to increase our prices a little bit to keep paying the artisans more for their material cost. This is "fair trade" in my book.
We operate on "Fair Trade" principals and pay a good price for the work we request & receive, as well as pay many extra medical and educational benefits to the artisans we work with. We either had to raise prices or cut wages & benefits (which we would not do), so we chose to raise prices very slightly. 50¢ in the U.S. is very little, but it goes a long way in Guatemala! We think everyone will be "happy to help" while still receiving a quality, beautiful and often unique piece of gorgeous handmade Czech glass beadwork.
Gracias, amigos and amigas...
Please come visit us at lovely Lake Atitlan, Guatemala,
Central America anytime!
Note: We have seen a few sellers advertise themselves as "Fair Trade" in Great Big Letters, yet they retail the products for less than the price we pay the artisans! How can this be "fair trade?" Any business has overhead costs, so if they are selling for less than we are paying, the artisans must be getting next to nothing. They may also be using second class beads which fade and break very quickly. We operate on Fair Trade Principles because we believe in this. Just because someone displays the "Fair Trade" logo doesn't mean it's fair trade. None of this is checked or verified; the logo is purchased and that's all. If the product is cheaper than most, you can be sure it's not "fair."
If you really want to help the people in Guatemala, you can help support two groups we support: MayanFamilies.org in Panajachel, and CECAP in Santa Cruz la Laguna. They do all kinds of medical and educational programs for the local indigenous Mayans, and a whole lot more.
We don't compete on price, although we are certainly within the same price range as most others who display "fair trade" notices. We provide the best quality and finest designs possible, with fair wages & benefits paid to the artisans themselves. Our prices are inline with most on the web & our goal is to increase jobs and markets for the indigenous Mayans living on the shores of Lake Atitlan in Central America. These jobs pay for educational and medical expenses, none of which are free in Guatemala.
We produce beautiful high quality work, custom designs
The best collections on the web,
And the best customer satisfaction & service!
18 August 2014