Our company is committed to continuing to create a positive impact in artisan communities around Latin America, using design as a primary tool for social inclusion. Throughout these 10 years, we have employed thousands of artisans in Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Peru, Nicaragua, Mexico, and continue to expand in the region.
For some groups in our network, we have increased their daily income by 18 times, and the price of their products has increased fivefold.
Luis Poncio - Master Wool Weaver
Our Impact Model
We have partnered with different organizations to develop programs that are successful and effective. This comprehends a team of project managers, field technicians, designers, production supervisors, and lead artisans.
Through partnerships with NGOs we where are able to identify the regions of the country that need more support, and together we co-created a collection of products later commercialized in many countries. In collaboration with them, we are paying artisans 30 percent above the Guatemalan minimum wage.
Throughout this journey, we have partnered with incredible organizations working towards a stronger and long-lasting positive impact in at-risk artisan communities.
In 2012 we partnered with the Zero Hunger program by the Guatemalan Government, which works with artisans with the highest levels of malnutrition. By creating different commercial product collections with an export perspective, we were able to impact the lives of more than 300 artisans from different regions of the country.
As this program proved to be successful, we also partnered with Agexport - Guatemala’s Exporter Association, in partnership with USAID, as allies in the Design and Development of artisanal products. It consisted of more than product development since it also tackled social issues that affect these communities, such as malnutrition, education, health, and gender equality.
Thanks to both partnerships, Meso Goods is now able to impact the lives of more than 550 artisan families in different Latin-American countries, working mostly with women artisans.
Elvira Poncio - Wool Weaver
Zero Hunger Guatemala is a program initiated by the Ministry of Economy of Guatemala, which aims to eradicate childhood malnutrition in the artisan communities of the country. The program establishes partnerships with organizations who contribute to the generation of sustainable employment, by providing trade opportunities in international markets for the handmade products, and thus bringing back better benefits to the women artisans who earn incomes above the national minimum wage.
The philosophy behind the project is to create close links between the artisan communities and organizations, so that they can work together and collaborate in search for better opportunities and access to international markets. The objective is to blend ancient weaving traditions with contemporary design, respecting the traditional techniques and patterns of individual communities and making slight adjustments in scale and palette, so that we can enable collections to emerge across the range of communities, positioning as many artisans as possible to international markets and thus derive income to the artisans from that process, directly impacting communities who are in extreme poverty.
The result of this partnership are personal and home decor accessories that give a special ethnic touch, while directly helping women artisans of our country.
The Mayan Store Initially begun working as a partner for this program in 2012, with only 40 women artisans, and has since increased the number of artisans benefited through our work to 290.
Feed the Future Save the Children
Our company partnered with Feed the Future and Save the Children to raise the productivity and competitiveness of underprivileged artisanal communities of the Western Highlands of Guatemala, which face extreme poverty situations and childhood malnutrition.
Together, we work towards generating new jobs for women in the rural areas of Guatemala, designing and producing handmade accessories that can reach international markets, and bring back more opportunities for our communities. With the support of Feed The Future and Save The Children, the Guatemalan Exporters Asociation (AGEXPORT) launched the Project “Growing the Future, Rural Value Chains”, which has the objective that the families that live in extreme poverty in the selected municipalities (8 from Quiché, 2 from Quetzaltenango and 2 from Totonicapán) can expand their participation in value chains, so that they can improve their incomes, reduce poverty and chronic malnutrition. The goal is to impact directly in these communities with artisanal skills, by generating export opportunities through strategic alliances with designers, and retailers.
The philosophy behind the project is to create close links between the artisan communities and organizations, so that they can work together and collaborate.
Since 2016 we became part of the artisan guild - joining a group of likeminded individuals supporting and creating sustainable income in artisan communities around the globe - through this partnership we have collaborated with Nest in the development of product - commercial partnerships - and knowledge sharing.
Nest is a nonprofit; building a new handworker economy to increase global workforce inclusivity, improve women’s wellbeing beyond factories, and preserve important cultural traditions around the world.
The philosophy behind Nest is to support artisan women by providing capacity building, training and market access.
Learn more about them here.