Artisans and Independence: The Second of Three Stories from Colombia

12 Jul

Today marks Week Two in Hope For Women’s focus on Independence (check out this blog post for more information on our Independence Spotlight). With both American and Colombian Independence celebrations squeezed into the month of July, our minds are focused on the female artisans working in Bogotá, Colombia to create the quality Fair Trade products that Hope For Women is known for. Many of these artisans have gained  powerful senses of independence as a result of fair practices and their relationship with Hope For Women. We see Fair Trade as an opportunity to add humanity, global awareness, and respect to the giant realm of international business, because at the end of the day, Fair Trade is about individual people: their relationships, needs, desires and dreams. With that in mind, we would like to introduce you to Maria Ofelia Cárdenas.

Ofelia is a single mother 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 independence, she believes, demands that each citizen has the ability “to choose the way of life that they want to live.”

Ofelia assembles Eco-Friendly packaging for a Fair Trade product

Having financial stability as an employee of Sapia, Hope For Women’s Colombian partner, truly allowed Ofelia to access her definition of independence. Ofelia says,  “One of my biggest achievements from my work as an artisan has been to buy my own house.” In this way, Ofelia is literally able to live her life the way she wants to, in a home of her choosing, with a liveable wage and safe work environment.

On July 20th, Ofelia will be working at Sapia with the rest of her artisan community. In celebration of her Nation’s Independence, Ofelia says that she will “go to work with encouragement, showing all of my people that we are working people and proud of our country.

Check back next Tuesday for the last artisan story in our series of three. Then join us in celebrating Colombia’s Independence on Wednesday, July 20th. You can keep up to date on what we’re doing and how we’ll be celebrating by following our facebook page!


2 Responses to “Artisans and Independence: The Second of Three Stories from Colombia”


  1. 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 international […]

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

    […] 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 artisans. Just […]

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