Artisan Impact: Jewelry Cooperative, Peru
Our history with Team Peru goes back to 2009, before Fair Anita was founded, when the founder Joy moved to Peru to learn about domestic violence in a country with one of the highest rates in the world. While building a women’s shelter in the small town of Chimbote, Joy had the opportunity to work with local women and ask them what they thought was the most important resource for women experience domestic violence. Almost unanimously, these women expressed that jobs are the single most important resource for women experiencing domestic violence, because sustainable income allows women to leave an abusive partner. Joy founded Fair Anita from the lessons she learned in Chimbote, and to this day our work remains grounded in supporting women’s resilience through responsive business relationships.
Team Peru is comprised of two cooperatives, one in the small town of Chimbote and one outside the capital city, Lima. Our partners in Chimbote specialize in intricate beaded jewelry and produce our best-selling ceramic jewelry. Our partners in Lima specialize in sterling silver jewelry, a difficult field for women artisans to enter as silver work is traditionally a male domain. Team Peru offers support services for women experiencing domestic violence and sustainable jobs that would not otherwise be available to women.
How We Support Team Peru
We support Team Peru by helping them employ more women, earn higher wages and reach new customers.
- We commit to long term, reliable trade agreements that allow cooperatives to hire more women and make proactive business decisions. Team Peru can count on us to place continuous orders at consistent prices, and that trust results in more jobs and more job security for women.
- We recognize the difference between living wage and minimum wage, and we pay our artisans more than 3x the minimum wage in Peru. The minimum wage in Peru is 28 soles per day ($8.70 USD), though most people don't make this even this amount. Fair Anita artisans in Peru are paid 90-150 soles per day ($28-46 USD/day).
Artisan Spotlight: Maritza
Living in Chimbote Peru - one of the largest poorest cities in the world - Maritza searched for opportunities for employment, only to have doors closed in her face. At that moment she valiantly declared “no more!” and started to teach herself the art of jewelry making, which eventually lead to the creation of a artisan co-op that employs 12+ women with special needs.
In Maritza’s eyes, there are no disabilities, only the capacity for strength and the ability of the mind to persevere and make dreams come true. Like Maritza, the 12 women that make up the artisan group she leads are strong willed and continue to keep going despite obstacles so they can serve the necessities of people with disabilities. Maritza shares that her workshop she created might not be big, but it has a big heart.
To see more of our ethically sourced, fair trade items, view our collections here.