|InfoHub supplier since Sep 2011!
Base of operations: USA
M21073 helps women transform their skills into a means of financial support for their families by creating a market for the traditional arts of Maya artisans. Products are sold primarily by U.S. women in their local communities. These volunteers distribute artisan handicrafts at their local churches, neighborhood art fairs and in their homes.
M21073 is much more than an outlet for Mayan products. The commitment of M21073 to the economic development of women goes far beyond the exchange of money for goods made in Guatemala. At its core, M21073 is about creating work for women so that they become self sufficient. M21073 believes that community development happens through economic development of women who otherwise have limited ways to participate and contribute to the economic stability of their families. Giving women an opportunity to earn an income from their skills gives them self-confidence and hope for themselves, their children, their family and their village. M21073 model consists of three programs: (1) economic development social venture; (2) microcredit; and, (3) education.
An integral part of M21073 education program is to educate North American men and women about the Maya of Guatemala. Through M21073 tours, women and men are introduced to the Maya women who create the products sold in the U.S. In hearing the life stories of the Guatemalan women and visiting their villages and home, North Americans strengthen their commitment and return home to promote the mission of M21073. M21073 has been coordinating tours to Guatemala for over 15 years. M21073 is a proud member of the Fair Trade Federation and Green America.
1. How long has the business been operating and how did it start?
Maya Works began in 1990 when Patricia Krause agreed to carry a suitcase of weavings back to the U.S. with the hope of opening a market for the work of poor Maya women in Guatemala. The weavings in that suitcase sold quickly and soon many suitcases were being carried back to the U.S. by various travelers to Guatemala. In 1996, M21073 began organizing tours to Guatemala to educate North Americans about the Maya people, in particular, the issues faced by indigenous women.
2. What is your company's mission?
M21073 empowers indigenous women of Guatemala to achieve economic security by providing markets for their handcrafted products, access to microcredit loans and expanded educational opportunities. M21073 also galvanizes North American women to participate in economic justice.
3. What does your company specialize in?
M21073 specializes in tours that highlight the issues of economic development of Maya women.
4. Who is the founder or owner of the company and briefly describe his/her past activities?
M21073 was founded by Patricia Krouse and her close friends who wanted to call attention to the issues facing indigenous women in Guatemala. Pat served on the board of directors for many years and is still very actively involved in rural health programs in the Central Highlands of Guatemala.
5. What is your most popular travel package and why?
Our most popular tour is the M21073 Journey. It is designed for people who want to learn more about M21073’ indigenous artisans and Guatemalan culture. This trip provides an opportunity to meet Mayas involved in women’s economic development and education, and to learn first-hand about their lives. There is also time to enjoy the incredible beauty of Guatemala and to reflect on “one world” connections.
6. What is the best compliment you received from a client?
We left Guatemala with a kaleidoscope of memories of strong, hard working, inspiring Maya women who became individuals to us all; of a beautiful struggling country with a difficult history to overcome; and of interesting, capable, caring American women who forged special friendships from these experiences. This was truly an opportunity to ‘interweave lives’.
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