Guatemalan Eight-Strand Earth Bracelet
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You'll feel tied to the earth in this handcrafted treasure, made in Guatemala and inspired by an earth-creation story. Your purchase helps to empower and lift up women from rural and urban communities in Guatemala, a part of the world that many people call the "soul of the earth." Weaving jewelry gives these women a chance to earn a decent wage to provide their families with much-needed necessities.
According to the tale, when earth was created, it felt cold and dark. To remedy this, a sun was attached. But when the earth was resting it became dark again, so the earth was given the stars to light up the night. Then the earth began to get dry and breathless, so water and air were created. Although the earth was beautiful, nothing would grow on it. It felt sterile and needed life. So the earth was given trees and plants. While this made the earth happier, it still felt that something was missing. For the earth's pleasure, animals were created — animals that could live in the sea, and on the land. Earth enjoyed this, but still felt it was lacking something, and was in need of nurturing. So people were created. Now the earth felt nearly complete, but there was no connection between the trees, plants, animals, people, sun, stars, water, wind, and the earth. Then love was created, allowing everything to become one, and to finally feel connected.
Eight distinctly different bracelets in each set representing the Earth, Sun, Stars, Water & Air, Trees & Plants, Animals, People, and Love. The bracelets can be worn tied together into one large bracelet, or pulled apart into individual bracelets.
- Set of 8 individual bracelets
- Waxed thread, glass beads, metal beads, ceramic beads, metal clasps and fittings
- Approximately 7" L (17.8 cm)
- Handmade in and fairly traded from Guatemala
Created to help women worldwide gain economic security for themselves and their families by earning fair wages for their handiwork, Global Girlfriend sources women-made, fair-trade imported, eco-friendly products. By supporting long-term partnerships with the artisans, it fosters equal employment opportunities, healthy and safe working conditions, technical assistance, and development strategies to help reduce poverty, one community at a time. Become a "Global Girlfriend" and help build a brighter future for girlfriends around the globe!
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December 7, 2014 - i love my bracelets, they look really great when all worn together. as the below review mentioned, they do take some time to put on and take off. i have smaller hands and wrists so they fit just fine. my bracelets actually look pretty similar to the ones in the picture, and i'm half-tempted to order another set when they go on sale again, just to see if i can get some other styles. my coworkers loved them when i wore them today, and one wants me to order her a set as well. they are a bit stiff right now since they're brand new, and i imagine they will be more comfortable when i've worn them a few more times. very happy with this product and i'm glad it is going towards a great cause. :)
November 26, 2014 - Too many of the bracelets were way too small to fit me. Hard to clasp. The one or two that were adjustable were great, but majority WAY TOO SMALL for normal wrist size, and EXTREMELY hard to clasp. Quality is great, but WAY TOO SMALL.
Customer Service response:February 24, 2015 - We're sorry to hear that this product did not meet your expectations. Please contact our customer service department for store credit or exchange.
November 18, 2014 - I love this bracelet. This is my second purchase. I put them on and they stay there. Like a tattoo, only removable. I swim and do other activities with them on. The last bracelet lasted almost 2 years. They do take some time to put on, and if you don't like wearing bracelets for very long then this product probably isn't worth the time.
May 22, 2014 - Once again loved it but the ones that you could not discoonnect did not fit me. Linda Gollan-It will make a wonderful gift.
April 17, 2014 - Fun, artsy bracelet set. I love it! It is well made and strong. I've worn mine many times with no issues of breakage or damage whatsoever! It is adorable for summer! The story that comes with it is simply enchanting! I plan on ordering another set for my best friend soon. The only thing I would like to point out is the set does run small. I wear a size 6.5" bracelet and this set fits me perfect. If you have a 6"- 6.5" wrist, you should have no problems with size. If you wear a size 7" or over bracelet, this may be a bit too small for you. Comes in a pretty little organza pouch, ready for gift giving!
Artisan: Kiej de los Bosques
"We dream of an ideal world -- one where everyone lives in harmony, where diversity is celebrated, and where rights and responsibilities are treasured. These aspirations encourage us to find solutions in which prosperity and well-being are common to everyone." ~Maria Pacheco
Kiej de los Bosques, a fair trade enterprise founded by Cornell University graduate Maria Pacheco, collaborates with five rural artisan groups throughout Guatemala. A strong focus on community development, social entrepreneurship, and fair wages has vastly improved the lives of its eighty women artisans and their families.
Before they joined Kiej de los Bosques, these artisans had no market outlet for their work and no way to generate income. Most live in very small villages where there are no jobs, and many were forced to leave their children behind to take work in larger cities. For them, the income generated by Kiej de los Bosques is a dream come true, an opportunity to keep their families together and to send their children to school for the first time.
Located in the tiny village of San Lorenzo Pastores, Concepcion became Kiej de los Bosques's first artisan group in 2006. Economic opportunities were slim in the village then, and an important nutrition program was coming to an end -- jeopardizing the very health of the children. Local moms came together to find a solution, and Concepcion was born. The group has become very successful making and selling jewelry, and their families' lives have improved markedly. Inspired by their success and eager to apply their new business skills, Concepcion has opened a bakery and convenience store. "It has taken a lot of effort to start a business, but now, everybody in the village admires us," says group member Matilde. "We have been able to start something, that today is small, but in the future is going to be something really big. We know we still have to make a lot of sacrifices and work hard, but we are happy, because we can see the results every day."
The Monte Redondo group resides in Guatemala's central area, about 20 km from Guatemala City. Despite their close proximity to a large urban area, the community was as isolated as any in the remotest jungle. Twenty women artisans now belong to the group, supplementing their husbands' meager incomes. Group leader Sandra Solares puts it this way: "Kiej de los Bosques is a dream come true for my community. I feel satisfied to be the bridge that makes it possible for women in my community to generate income; this not only makes them feel important, but also helps them provide a better life to their kids. For me, Kiej de los Bosques is the force that gives me the opportunity to keep studying my communication career at the university."
These artisans were trained under the former First Lady of Guatemala's "Creciendo Bien" project, a program that teaches jewelry-making skills to underprivileged women. The artisans had the skills to produce lovely pieces, but had no way to get their work to market. They became a Kiej de los Bosques group in 2006, producing some of the organization's earliest collections -- earning a substantial income for the first time. Now, Dona Adela, the leader of the group, conducts ongoing training workshops. Her attitude is an example of great leadership: "We are very excited because we have good benefits, that is why we enjoy producing so much, a little piece of our heart goes in every product: Because we feel happy to have a job!"
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