Amartes is our nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with the mission of promoting indigenous Maya artists by creating a sustainable market for their handcrafts. These artists struggle to preserve their cultural traditions and continue to use age-old techniques to make beautiful products. Your donation supports these artists by providing sustainable income for them, their families and communities, empowers women and combats global poverty.
The ancient Maya world was centered in Guatemala and included Belize, and parts of Mexico (Oaxaca, Chiapas and the Yucatan region), El Salvador and Honduras.
We honor fair trade principles of fair pricing, good working conditions, no forced labor and respect for the worker. Many women artists work from home on their craft allowing them to work their own schedule in addition to caring for their families. Most artists cannot afford the high cost of Fair Trade certification which more commonly applies to food commodities such as coffee.
Many of our products are sourced from organized cooperatives funded by foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs). There are heroic individuals and associations working to help a dwindling number of weavers and artists to find support and the means to achieve success. These groups set the pricing for the artists based on the cost of materials, hours worked, cost of labor and the value of comparable products in the global market.
We also purchase products from artists selling independently at local markets. They often endure long journeys to reach their market destination. They may be forced to decide between selling cheap today to have money to purchase food or go hungry and return to the market another day hoping to sell at a fairer price. We seek out these artists wherever we go.
Many for-profit companies give back by supporting the community initiatives of the artists who make their products. We seek to partner with companies that have established social responsibility programs.
We thank you for your interest and your support. Your donation will make a difference.