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The Bolivian Artisans

Artisans BoliviaThe crafts sold by Incallajta are produced by lots of different families, each of whom specializes in a particular product such as alpaca wool clothing, leather bags, jewelry, or woven products such as wall hangings. All of them depend on the sales of their products for the income which allows them to provide food, clothing and a decent education for their children.

Fair Trade is very important for the people who make the crafts because they can be confident they will be paid fairly for their hard work. Incallajta forms a direct link between the producers and the public which means that a larger share of the profits can be returned directly to the producers and their families. I do this because I know that life can be hard for families in Bolivia, and our customers know that every time they buy something from Incallajta they are making a difference to the lives of these families.

One example of how Incallajta has helped a family is Don Jose, who makes leather bags in La Paz. He lives with his wife Dona Miriam and their two children, and they also look after three orphaned nephews. For many years he and his family had to live and work in a one-room flat. This caused health problems for the children because the leather was being worked in the same room as they ate and slept, but in the last few years Don Jose has been able to move to a larger house where the workshop is separated from the living area.

The first time I met Don Jose and his family, they told me they were going to pray that
their bags would sell well in York so they could improve their lives. Thinking about that
makes me very proud to have helped him and others like him, while at the same time
helping to maintain an old but beautiful tradition. In turn, Don Jose is passing on the
tradition by teaching the skills he uses to disabled people in La Paz which will hopefully
allow them to make a decent living. 

Please contact us for more information.