Indigenous Artisan Cooperative


The women of Santa Catarina Barahona are talented weavers. Most have only had the opportunity to study to between 3rd-6th grade and earn minimally ($1-$4US/day) because they lack education and other skills.

The cooperative is a combination of sewing classes, marketing of artisan goods, and support for weavers. The women learn to use a sewing machine to make a variety of artisan products, including coin purses, bags, shawls and aprons. They also have access to the sewing machines to mend any family clothing, so they don’t have to pay someone else to do it or buy something new, putting financial pressure on the family. Weaving materials are provided annually so the women can either have the material to make something they would like to wear, like their well-known huipiles (traditional woven top), or can make something to sell for income.