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Missions Blog


Mar 4

Investing in the Achi through Buying (and Selling) Handmade Goods

2013 | by Clint | Category: Field Updates,Global,Prayer,Rabinal Achi

Part of the Community Health Evangelism (CHE) Microfinance Ministry to the Rabinal Achi includes not just loaning money to a small co-op of Achi women who hand-weave products, but also helping them find a market to sell them in, here in the states.

Achi weaver

An Achi woman weaving.

 

Here is a report from DSC Member and Microfinance Ministry helper Beth:

Desert Springs has numerous projects in serving and working alongside the Rabinal Achi in Guatemala. One is to provide Albuquerque retail     stores with their handmade textile products.

Achi weavings at peacecraft

Achi woven bolsas (bags) at Peacecraft store in Nob Hill

Towards the end of 2011, we researched to see if there would be any local stores that would be interested in carrying the woven products of the Rabinal Achi. They have a gift of making a beautiful product but did not have any means of selling it for a consistent profit. There were two local (Albuquerque) stores that were interested, but only one, Peacecraft in the Nob Hill, has panned out.

In January 2012, I was in San Miguel, Guatemala. With the assistance of Rodrigo Barrera and Eder Ixcopal, I met with Sylvia and the rest of the weaving co-op in Los Encuentros. We shared with the women which products the store was interested in selling.

Achi weaving

Typical Achi weaving pattern

Achi bolsitas at peacecraft

Achi hand woven coin bags for sale at Peacecraft in Nob Hill.

When Dr. Jacobo and his wife Jannette came to visit DSC in October 2013, he brought about $681 worth of textiles for the stores to try and sell. The items included shoulder bags, coin purses, and wall hangings.  As of January 2013, 37 of the 59 items brought had sold at Peacecraft.

Achi weavers

A cooperative of Rabinal Achi weavers supported by DSC’s CHE ministry along side Dr. Jacobo

It is our vision to continue to work with Peacecraft. From their feedback, we know what is selling well. We have communicated with Dr. Jacobo what we would like 75 more items in the next shipment of textiles, and it is likely that our next mission team will bring them back in May.  We also desire to get textiles in additional stores in the Albuquerque area and are exploring the possibility of even selling them online in the future.

Our prayer requests:

  • Pray for us as we seek God’s will for direction as we continue with this.
  • Pray for more stores to be interested in carrying product.
  • Pray as we team up with Dr. Jacobo, Sylvia, the weavers, and anyone else involved for good communication, no confusion, wisdom, and that we are a team in this endeavor.
  • Please pray that God is glorified in all this, that the weavers and all others involved are impacted spiritually, and that we are a witness to the stores we interact with.