For six years, Jennifer Rice’s family lived in a tiny Mayan village. Shortly after her family’s return to Michigan, Ana, one of her former neighbors, called and pleaded with Jennifer to purchase her handmade bags.
As a young, illiterate, single mom, the needs of her family far outweighed her ability to provide. Jennifer’s family was keenly aware of the difficulty living in the village.
They agreed, and soon sent funds for her and other village women to make more of the bags (
morrales) and hammocks.
Jennifer has sold the handbags at home shows, art fairs and farmers markets, reinvesting the proceeds for the village women. It has made a tremendous difference in their lives.
How Can a Bag Give Hope?
Three of the village’s most talented artists: smart amazing young women, have been forced to leave their tiny village, risking their very lives to work in Mexico or the USA.
It’s hoped that with the success of the campaign, this awful cycle can be prevented. It is breaking up families and causing them to make heart-wrenching decisions.
With the funds, Jennifer says she can buy more bags at a time, paying several women for a job well done, while empowering them to provide for and remain with their families.
$2,500 – More bags and hammocks will result in fewer women leaving the village.
$5,000 – Marketing will help put Made by Mayans on the map.
$10,000 – Think Infrastructure. Cooperative. More women organizing and benefiting.
$15,000 – A visit to Guatemala to encourage the artisans.
$25,000 – Will allow the establishment of a seasonal kiosk to sell more bags.
The campaign ends October 12.