Creating Opportunities in San Antonio, Guatemala

by Teresa Hendricks
ng Opportunities in San Antonio, Guatemala

At Lucia’s Imports, our mission ensures we make a difference in the lives of our artisan partners. We directly purchase from two ceramic workshops in San Antonio Palopó, Guatemala: Mayan KE and Ceramicas Palopó. Ken Edwards, a Mexican potter, founded the first workshop in 1992 in order to give men who were unable to attend school the opportunity of a steady income. Many similar workshops are unable to reach the market because of their remote location, but after attending a trade show in Guatemala, Lucia’s Imports discovered Mayan KE and Ceramicas Palopó, creating a valuable business partnership. Even though the workshops are still remote, by having a partnership with Lucia’s Imports, the artisans can keep up to date with modern trends and demands in the American marketplace.

Since their foundation, the workshops have expanded to employ over 20 artisans, including seven women. After a visit to the workshops a few years ago, Lucia’s Imports wanted to see more women working. Several women were uninterested at first but were eventually hired when they realized the work and pay were steady. Mayan KE and Ceramicas Palopó have consistent orders from Lucia’s Imports which in turn provides steady incomes for employees.

As Lucia’s Imports grows, more job opportunities will be created for locals in San Antonio. Many artisans at the workshops did not have the opportunity of an education because they had to help earn a small income for their families. Now, those artisans’ children will be able to go to school and expand their opportunities in the future without sacrificing their education.

Learn more about our Guatemalan artisans here!

Fair Trade Principles

by Teresa Hendricks
Fair Trade Principles

We are a member of the Fair Trade Federation, but what exactly does that mean? As an FTF member, we uphold nine key principles in each purchase that protect artisans and farmers in order to create a more just world.

1. Create Opportunities

We create economic opportunities in Guatemala by partnering with local artisans and farmers. Lucia’s World Emporium focuses on our producers’ needs and interests as a core value of our business model.

2. Develop Transparent & Accountable Relationships

The dialogue about our producers is honest. We are open to discuss any and all aspects of the supply chain from Guatemala to Lexington, Kentucky and beyond. Producers and customers alike have an impact on the trading that occurs at Lucia’s World Emporium.

3. Build Capacity

We love to build long-lasting relationships with artisans and farmers in Guatemala. These relationships are based on independence, respect and trust. Our goal by enhancing long-term relationships is to promote artisan independence through best practices, open communication and community integration.

4. Promote Fair Trade

As a Fair Trade Federation member, it is our duty to educate consumers on their place in the global trade environment. We advocate for our customers to ask questions and learn about fair trade, economic conditions, and how they can help. By encouraging fair trade, we support improving living conditions, education opportunities, and economic strength.

5. Pay Promptly & Fairly

We compensate artisans according to a price they set based on materials, labor, and time of producing their goods. In fact, we exceed Fair Trade Minimum standards which means that our artisans are more independent in determining their fair pay.

6. Support Safe & Empowering Working Conditions

We love empowering our artisans and farmers! This means that we exclusively pursue working conditions that are free of forced labor, discrimination and any type of harassment. No matter where our artisans are located, they are safe at work.

7. Ensure the Rights of Children

Safe and empowering working conditions also include no child exploitation or trafficking. We uphold the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child regulations to ensure the safety of children.

8. Cultivate Environmental Stewardship

The United Nations definition of sustainability reads “meeting the needs of the current generation without sacrificing the needs of future generations”. Our artisans and farmers consistently repurpose, upcycle and reuse fabric and other materials in their products. Every decision we make has an environmental impact, and we seek to reduce our footprint as much as possible.

9. Respect Cultural Identity

At Lucia’s World Emporium, we praise cultural differences and welcome new cultural products with open arms. We respect and encourage the identity of our artisans and adjust business needs based on cultural events and expectations.

Interested in learning more about fair trade principles and guidelines? Check out the Fair Trade Federation for more resources!