Art Najel

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Najel means to spin, but the craftswomen from “Los Altos Chiapas”, live spinning a more worthy life. Know the story of these group of indigenous women that one day decided to do something more.

Upliftig Story

Artesanas de Najel

 

It was 2001 when Gabriela Cosío and Ricardo Padilla, a married couple convinced of the potential of the indigenous communities, decided to listen to the communities from los Altos, Chiapas, by themselves , to find out what kind of help was required for the development of the area. Their convictions made echo on a group of indigenous craftswomen that asked for help to sell their textiles. The Padilla couple searched for help amongst various people with social conscience and good will, it was Brian Haney, an American business man, a man with a great sense of social responsibility, who after listening to the dreams of two hundred indigenous craftswomen and their families, donated the first investment that would benefit, 8 years later, directly to 975 indigens and their families and indirectly more than 1850 of them. That first donation and the orientation of Gabriela and Ricardo were enough for the craftswomen to open a small store in downtown San Cristobal de las Casas on 2002.

The Padilla couple guided them not to depend from the income of the store, subject to the high tourism seasons, and created with them a sales program for foreign clients at bulk. The craftswomen rapidly turned into exporters and on December 2004, incorporated a cooperative organization that protects the craftswomen and their own interests, besides allowing them to obtain profits, gives them certainty to be the owners of their work and the generated proceeds. On that moment, only 20 crafts women signed the incorporation of the organization, today more than eighty women participate in the organization, and the ones that sell their products through Art Najel are already 200.

Gabriela tells us:” Even when we have made much for the craftswomen, all of them are conscious that the store is their own, that it is the product of their effort and for them, that Mundo Unitatis, my husband and I were going to support them in everything possible to look for financing with possible donators, to help them in the organization, maybe with certain administrative chores, but that the store belongs to them.”

 

Tienda de Najel

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