Artisans and Independence: The Last of Three Stories from Colombia

19 Jul

Colombian Independence Day Festival in 2006, via New York Daily News

It has been weeks since we waded through happy masses at the Burlington Waterfront Park to enjoy an evening of pyrotechnic excitement and those familiar firework cracks, bangs and whistles. Our mosquito bites have faded and we’ve put away our semi-ironic American flag trousers for another year. But maybe we should start searching for accessories in yellow, blue and red, because Colombia’s Independence Day celebration starts tomorrow!

If you have been keeping up with our blog in the past two weeks, you know that we’ve been thinking a lot about independence–what it means for a country, for an individual, and for artisans at Hope For Women’s Colombian partner, Sapia. 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 business so that consumerism does not overpower social or environmental ethics. So, here is one final story of an individual artisan who works to produce the beautiful and conscientious products that Hope For Women is so proud to offer to you.

Claudia Esperanza Zambrano is the mother of four children: Jennyfer Andrea (19 years old), Jonathan Andres (18 years old), Yuri Solanyi (16 years old), and Brayan Leonardo (15 years old). She and her husband work hard to provide for their family, and through Claudia’s work with Sapia and Hope For Women, she is able to achieve job security that has significantly bettered her children’s lives.

In Caludia’s words, independence is “the freedom for each person to manage their own space, time and money.” Her ability to provide for the people she loves means true independence. With this freedom, Claudia says that she is able to “improve the quality of life of my kids and the family economy.” Furthermore, she states, “Making fair trade products also allows me to help other people that work with me to achieve their own independence.”

Here, Claudia is working with Tagua, a sustainable material used to make jewelry.

Tomorrow, on July 20th, Claudia will celebrate independence by embracing family. With national pride, she will enjoy the company of her children at home.

Here at Hope For Women, we would like to thank you so much for following our Independence Series. We recognize that  choices made in America do not exclusively affect Americans, and that it is our responsibility to understand where our products are coming from, and the impact they have on our world. Independence, after all, is anything but passive or singular. By supporting Hope For Women and the Fair Trade movement, you are offering economic independence to thousands around the globe just like Rosa, Ofelia, and Claudia.


One Response to “Artisans and Independence: The Last of Three Stories from Colombia”


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

    […] 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 click on each […]

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