Shuar/ Saraguro Indigenous Artisen Jewelry Coop.
Our goal is to establish a cooperative organization to promote and sell the artisanal beaded jewelry of the indigenous Shuar and Saraguro people of Ecuador. Located in Guadalupe, a small town in the Southern province of Zamora-Chichinpe, our project will enable indigenous women to increase regional and global market awareness of their uniquely beautiful hand-crafted beaded jewelry. Creating beaded jewelry is integral to the cultural identify of both the Shuar and Saraguro people. By enhancing artisans’ business skills and access to internet technology, the Shuar and Saraguro women will increase sales and help stabilize family income. In the mostly subsistence economy of southern Ecuador, Shuar and Saraguro women sell beaded jewelry to supplement their family income. Establishing a jewelry cooperative will enable women to expand the geographic market for selling jewelry beyond the surrounding area accessible by 5-10 hour bus rides. A jewelry cooperative will establish an internet presence to increase awareness and educate the world about the culture and ecological values of the Shuar and Saraguro people. Additionally, a cooperative will educate artisans about business planning and coordinate production among artisans’ to accommodate market demand. The Saraguro people, as an agrarian culture, have a history of using the cooperative organizational model to purchase and share trucks and tools for farming. Please see the twelve-page business plan: Preserving and Promoting the Culture, Heritage and Artisanship of the Saraguro and Shuar People 2017
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (May 2017)