Latin America and Caribbean Artisans

Caribbean Crafts: Haiti
With an unemployment rate of 40.6%, more than 2/3 of Haitians do not have traditional jobs. However, Caribbean Crafts, established in 1990 
provides artisan training, design assistance and new export market outlets. Caribbean Crafts empowers their artisans, gives them a sense of dignity
and a way to display their creativity.

Artists utilize recycled materials like steel drums to form unique, culturally relevant art.
Trendy paper maché comes from empty cement bags and starch made from locally grown, renewable arrowroot; it is fashioned into beautiful and
festive ornaments, money or “piggy” banks, serving trays, and a variety of other useful creations.

Caribbean Crafts strives to keep their artists in tune with their culture, provide fair wages and help benefit the Haitian economy.

We currently sell various hand painted animal wall pieces.

Women of the Cloud Forest: Costa Rica
Feel the beauty of the rainforest every time you wear a piece of jewelry from the Women of the Cloud Forest. This organization, founded in 2001, 
supplies an immense range of jewelry. What makes them unique? Their seeds. The artisans utilize a bounty of Rainforest Seeds in creating the  
beautiful, organic jewelry.

Here at The Silk Road we have a particular connection to one artisan here, Yesenia. Yesenia is the daughter of a coffee farmer. She was raised on the 
farm, but also raised in a poverty stricken environment. She only reached the level of an 8th grade education. However, she did so well organizing the
farm that despite her obstacles she achieved a manager status of the group. We are happy to say that Yesenia, even as a single mother, has send her
son to college. He is the first one in his family to get a college degree.

San Antonio Polopo Pottery: Guatemala

On the shores of Lake Atitlan in Polopo, Guatemala, lives the Perez family. Fate brought a North American
potter to their village years ago in his search for a new source of clay. He found willing students, and a
hunger for self-sufficiency. Today, the Perez family is still making pottery by hand, in their own patterns
that are now known throughout the world as San Antonio Polopo Pottery. Since every piece is painted by
hand, each bowl will have some color variation in the flower and an individuality making it a true work of

Mayan Hands: Guatemala
The most important thing to have when raising a family is stable income.  For about 15 years, Mayan Hands has been offering just that to the women  
of the Chimaltenango region in Guatemala. By using the Guatemalan craft traditions  of weaving, embroidering, felting and crocheting, they empower
their artisans and produce beautiful products. In addition, they are buying school supplies for all of the artisans' school age children (almost 400) to
help them afford the costs of an education.

Deans Beans: Nicaragua
Coffee is so much more than fair wages.  This blend is a combination of two beans, Nicaraguan and Colombian in a medium roast.  Dean's Bean's is
committed to roasting organic coffee as well as working towards better economic opportunity, health and nutrition in South American villages. The
program in Colombia works to reduce the drug trade.  In Nicaragua, many of the farmers were displaced by the war, now residing in the mountainous
Esteli region.  Dean's Bean's only purchases from small farmers and cooperatives to provide them opportunity.   As with any fair trade coffee, no slave
labor is used in growing or harvesting the beans.

Both varieties are shade grown, organic, kosher, and fair trade.  This blend has a smooth flavor with low acid. 

The Silk Road Fair Trade Market, phone 724-946-8502,
located at 115 N. Market, #1, New Wilmington, Pa  16142
Open Tuesday - Saturday (10-5), Thurs evening to 6, closed Sunday and Monday