When I think about developing countries, one of the first things that comes to my mind is busy, hectic markets, people haggling for lower prices, and some serious pressure to buy every single thing from every person you pass.
Millions of different people search for their own ways to make a living, copying each other when someone finds something that works. A guy hops on a bus to sell soda, riding with the bus for a few kilometers and shouting “Gaseosa! Gaseosa barrata!” over and over again, then gets off and rides another bus back, making a profit of 4 to 8 cents from each soda he sells. People copy him and soon there is a vibrant market around buses: people selling nuts, ice water, bandanas, jewelry, candy, packets of fruit, everything you can think of. (It’s a simplistic way of viewing it, but you get the point).
The tough and highly competitive economy is one of the things that drove people to the trash dumps to find a living – some of them went there and found that they could sell enough trash to survive, and others copied. After a huge earthquake in the 70’s which left hundreds of thousands of people homeless, some people went to “La Chureca” and many have stayed ever since.
They’re at a crossroads now: the dump has been closed and one person from each family has been given a job at a recycling plant. It’s very exciting!
But . . . there are still many problems, the largest of which is that they’ll actually be making less money per family than they were before. They’re working hard to find new sources of income . . . and you can help.
Four months ago, Manna Project International brought some of the women together, paid a Nicaraguan jewelry-maker to teach them to make beautiful jewelry, and gave them supplies to start. So . . .
This Christmas, buy the gift that keeps on giving!
Ha, I almost died putting that cliche on the computer, but . . . it works. I’ll show you how. With every piece of jewelry you buy, you:
- Help these women in their goal to find new income. I really liked the jewelry I saw from them and want them to do well. The more of these that sell in the States the more income these women have available to them, the more opportunities they have to get better at jewelry crafting.
- Are connected more to their story. With how unique this jewelry is, people are going to ask you questions. It’s a great chance to let more people know about poverty in Nicaragua and one great way of helping them pull out of it.
- Um . . . well, you look awesome, of course.
Every cent of revenue I get from this will go back into the community – either by buying more jewelry from them or by donating to Manna Project International.
So there ya go! Be the awesome flower child you are, buy some amazing jewelry, and help out some of Nicaragua’s poorest (and great) women at the same time. What more could we ask for?
Here’s my attempt at an awesome phrase for this whole thing . . . are you ready?
“Buy it because it’s beautiful. Wear it because you’re . . . beautiful? A hippie with some amazing taste in jewelry? Awesome?” Um, well . . . ya, that’s where my awesome jingle comes to an end. I’m still ironing out the details, as you can tell.
Since you’re awesome and you made it this far in the blog post, here’s a coupon! Use the code “ChurecaBlog” and you’ll get free shipping on anything over $18. Yes, $18 seems random.
Some pics for your viewing pleasure
Do you want your jewelry shipped straight to someone else for Christmas? Send me an email when you order and I’ll do that, include whatever personal message you want, and even gift wrap it for you.
Whew, giving just got easy.