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Guatemalan Eight-Strand Earth Bracelet

Item # 35468
In Stock

You'll feel tied to the earth in this handcrafted treasure, made in Guatemala and inspired by an earth-creation story. Your purchase helps to empower and lift up women from rural and urban communities in Guatemala, a part of the world that many people call the "soul of the earth." Weaving jewelry gives these women a chance to earn a decent wage to provide their families with much-needed necessities.

According to the tale, when earth was created, it felt cold and dark. To remedy this, a sun was attached. But when the earth was resting it became dark again, so the earth was given the stars to light up the night. Then the earth began to get dry and breathless, so water and air were created. Although the earth was beautiful, nothing would grow on it. It felt sterile and needed life. So the earth was given trees and plants. While this made the earth happier, it still felt that something was missing. For the earth's pleasure, animals were created — animals that could live in the sea, and on the land. Earth enjoyed this, but still felt it was lacking something, and was in need of nurturing. So people were created. Now the earth felt nearly complete, but there was no connection between the trees, plants, animals, people, sun, stars, water, wind, and the earth. Then love was created, allowing everything to become one, and to finally feel connected.

Eight distinctly different bracelets in each set representing the Earth, Sun, Stars, Water & Air, Trees & Plants, Animals, People, and Love. The bracelets can be worn tied together into one large bracelet, or pulled apart into individual bracelets. Each bracelet is about 7" L (17.8 cm). Due to the handmade nature of these bracelets, no two are the same. Handmade in and fairly traded from Guatemala.

Created to help women worldwide gain economic security for themselves and their families by earning fair wages for their handiwork, Global Girlfriend sources women-made, fair-trade imported, eco-friendly products. By supporting long-term partnerships with the artisans, it fosters equal employment opportunities, healthy and safe working conditions, technical assistance, and development strategies to help reduce poverty, one community at a time. Become a "Global Girlfriend" and help build a brighter future for girlfriends around the globe!

For bulk pricing on these and other items, please contact our Customer Service department at customerservice@greatergood.com.

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19 reviews

Recent reviews:

April 17, 2014 - Fun, artsy bracelet set. I love it! It is well made and strong. I've worn mine many times with no issues of breakage or damage whatsoever! It is adorable for summer! The story that comes with it is simply enchanting! I plan on ordering another set for my best friend soon. The only thing I would like to point out is the set does run small. I wear a size 6.5" bracelet and this set fits me perfect. If you have a 6"- 6.5" wrist, you should have no problems with size. If you wear a size 7" or over bracelet, this may be a bit too small for you. Comes in a pretty little organza pouch, ready for gift giving!

April 15, 2014 - These are lovely, but much too small to fit over my hand. I actually ended up ordering 2, so right now there are 2 very happy little girls out there with new funky and fine bracelets!

April 12, 2014 - I love my new bracelets...my husband even stole one strand. I would of given it 5 stars but it is a little difficult to get on and off, perhaps with wear it will be less stiff. Will definitely buy another

November 26, 2013 - Got my bracelet set yesterday and I love, love, love them! They are well made and look great all together!

October 28, 2013 - I have small wrists and some of the bracelets are too big and cannot be made smaller. It went on "sale" after I bought it. I would have preferred all the bracelets be similar in size. The variances cause the bracelet not to lay nicely on the wrist. But overall, I like the color and style.

See more reviews

Artisan: Kiej do los Bosques

Artisan Kiej do los Bosques

"We dream of an ideal world -- one where everyone lives in harmony, where diversity is celebrated, and where rights and responsibilities are treasured. These aspirations encourage us to find solutions in which prosperity and well-being are common to everyone." ~Maria Pacheco

Kiej de los Bosques, a fair trade enterprise founded by Cornell University graduate Maria Pacheco, collaborates with five rural artisan groups throughout Guatemala. A strong focus on community development, social entrepreneurship, and fair wages has vastly improved the lives of its eighty women artisans and their families.

Before they joined Kiej do los Bosques, these artisans had no market outlet for their work and no way to generate income. Most live in very small villages where there are no jobs, and many were forced to leave their children behind to take work in larger cities. For them, the income generated by Kiej do los Bosques is a dream come true, an opportunity to keep their families together and to send their children to school for the first time.

Located in the tiny village of San Lorenzo Pastores, Concepcion became Kiej do los Bosques's first artisan group in 2006. Economic opportunities were slim in the village then, and an important nutrition program was coming to an end -- jeopardizing the very health of the children. Local moms came together to find a solution, and Concepcion was born. The group has become very successful making and selling jewelry, and their families' lives have improved markedly. Inspired by their success and eager to apply their new business skills, Concepcion has opened a bakery and convenience store. "It has taken a lot of effort to start a business, but now, everybody in the village admires us," says group member Matilde. "We have been able to start something, that today is small, but in the future is going to be something really big. We know we still have to make a lot of sacrifices and work hard, but we are happy, because we can see the results every day."

The Monte Redondo group resides in Guatemala's central area, about 20 km from Guatemala City. Despite their close proximity to a large urban area, the community was as isolated as any in the remotest jungle. Twenty women artisans now belong to the group, supplementing their husbands' meager incomes. Group leader Sandra Solares puts it this way: "Kiej do los Bosques is a dream come true for my community. I feel satisfied to be the bridge that makes it possible for women in my community to generate income; this not only makes them feel important, but also helps them provide a better life to their kids. For me, Kiej do los Bosques is the force that gives me the opportunity to keep studying my communication career at the university."

These artisans were trained under the former First Lady of Guatemala's "Creciendo Bien" project, a program that teaches jewelry-making skills to underprivileged women. The artisans had the skills to produce lovely pieces, but had no way to get their work to market. They became a Kiej do los Bosques group in 2006, producing some of the organization's earliest collections -- earning a substantial income for the first time. Now, Dona Adela, the leader of the group, conducts ongoing training workshops. Her attitude is an example of great leadership: "We are very excited because we have good benefits, that is why we enjoy producing so much, a little piece of our heart goes in every product: Because we feel happy to have a job!"

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