Artisans and Independence: The First of Three Stories from Colombia

5 Jul

It is July 5th, and the booms and crackles of fireworks are finally fading in Vermont as the national Independence Day celebrations come to a close for this year. However, commemorating Independence need not be a practice confined by 24 hours, quickly spent and forgotten.

As we pointed out last week, independence is certainly not unique to Americans. With that in mind, we would like to introduce you to Rosa, an artisan in Colombia who has been producing creative, beautiful goods for longer than Hope For Women has existed! Rosa’s story is the first in a series of three (taking place over the next two weeks) in preparation for Colombia’s Independence Day on July 20th. Keep checking back on Tuesdays to hear more artisan experiences of independence.

Rosa is a single mother with two sons, Andres Mauricio (23 years old) and Cristian Camilo (21 years old). Although her family is expanding (both of her sons have children), Rosa spoke to us about the ways in which working with Hope For Women has allowed her to experience independence within her growing community.

When we asked Rosa what independence means, she replied simply, “freedom and happiness.” Her words are strong and true. She further explained that a person who is independent has “freedom of opinion and action.” As a Fair Trade artisan, Rosa was able to harness a freedom and an independence that allowed for her to pay for the education of her sons and grow through the ranks of Sapia, our partner company in Bogotá. She has gathered raw materials, trained as a skilled artisan, and worked on the managerial side of the company, doing computer work related to exportation and documentation. These were steps that directly improved her life and the lives of those around her.

On July 20th, Colombian Independence Day, Rosa will be celebrating her country, and also her family. As she says, “Colombian Independence day is my son’s birthday and we are going to celebrate together with the entire family.”

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3 Responses to “Artisans and Independence: The First of Three Stories from Colombia”

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  1. Artisans and Independence: The Second of Three Stories from Colombia « - July 12, 2011

    […] of two daughters, Diana Marcel and Stefania Campo (age 17 and 11, respectively). Like her coworker, Rosa, Ofelia views independence as access to personal freedom. For a citizen in Colombia, national […]

  2. Artisans and Independence: The Last of Three Stories from Colombia « - July 19, 2011

    […] As part of this meditation on independence, we are profiling three of our artisans in Bogota: Rosa, Ofelia, and (today) Claudia. It has always been a goal for Hope For Women to humanize […]

  3. Colombian Independence Day: ¡Felicidades! « - July 20, 2011

    […] Hope For Women artisans in Colombia here on our blog. (If you didn’t get a chance to meet Rosa, Ofelia, and Claudia, take a moment to learn how they experience independence as fair trade […]

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