Supporting Cooperatives for a Better Future
Artisan collecting pine needles in San JosĂŠ de Cusmapa
n 2008, Deanna Ford founded the Nica HOPE Project as an education and vocational training program to enable children and youth to receive an education while providing alternative sources of income and skills training. The project targeted families that lived and worked in the municipal trash dump of Managua, known as “La Chureca,” where children often dropped out of school to work and earn little more than two dollars a day. After the dump’s closure in 2011, families relocated to the Acahualinca and Villa Guadalupe neighborhoods. These communities remain extremely vulnerable, and families continue to face chronic malnutrition, poor health, and few educational and economic opportunities. Today, Fabretto’s Education Center in Acahualinca and the Nica HOPE Project support over 2,500 children and young adults with education, nutrition, and vocational programs.
In 2012, after four years of developing business and technical skills, the artisans of the Nica HOPE Project established their own Nica HOPE Cooperative, becoming collective owners of the business. The cooperative continues to develop with consistent in-country and international sales, attendance at local fairs, and exchange programs with other cooperatives in Central America. Fabretto is proud to support the Nica HOPE Cooperative and the Cusmapa Women’s Basket Cooperative, based out of a rural village in northern Nicaragua, by granting access to a wider international market through our online shop. The models featured in our Summer Catalog include Nica HOPE artisans, volunteers, and Fabretto staff members. We invite you to join the Summer of HOPE and support communities in Nicaragua on the path to a better future!
Maura’s Story With the Nica HOPE cooperative, artisan Maura has developed the confidence and skills she needs to reach a better future. Here, Maura models the Bird’s Nest Set ($30) in robin’s egg blue. This hard-working mom of two (soon to be three!) has overcome incredible challenges, from her childhood in a rural village to struggling to support her daughter as a young adult in Acahualinca. Three years ago, her life changed when she joined the Fabretto community and found a path to economic opportunity through the Nica HOPE cooperative. While her daughter attended Fabretto’s enrichment classes, Maura took jewelry making classes through the Nica HOPE project. Today, Maura has grown into a committed member of the cooperative and earns an income through producing and selling jewelry. With this financial security, Maura has been able to pursue her passion: teaching. “Since I was 6 years old, I have always dreamed of being a teacher,” she said. “Teaching is a calling.” Her dream is coming true. With a Fabretto scholarship, she is earning a teaching degree while working as an enrichment teacher in her community. For Maura, her success means a better future for her children. “I want to show my children who their mother can be,” Maura said. “With Fabretto, I have been growing while my children grow too. They are proud of me.”
Fabretto volunteer Carina Glastris poses with Nica HOPE artisan Linda. Carina wears the Thin Wire Bangle in red while Linda models the Birdâ€™s Nest necklace and earrings set.
Summer Catalog This summer, the Nica HOPE artisans have created brand new designs as well as updated versions of old favorites. Inspired by the spirit of the season, the pieces feature the vibrant, sunny colors to brighten up your summer look. Triple Wrap Bracelet - $14 Available in sea blue, red and mint green
Mallory Necklace - $35 Amber
Thin Wire Bangle - $14 Available in periwinkle, red and crystal
Mallory Necklace - $35 Mint Green
Best of all, your purchases truly brighten the lives of the artisans and their families. Sales from the Fabretto Summer Catalog provide fair pay for the cooperativeâ€™s members and support economic development in Nicaragua. In addition, a portion of each sale from our website goes to Fabrettoâ€™s education and nutrition programs that empower children and youth in underserved communities.
Sunflower Macrame Bracelet - $6
Summer Stacking Bracelets - $9
Turquoise Macrame Bracelet - $6
HOPE Macrame Bracelets - $10
Artisan Juan Francisco Barcia models a macramé bracelet in bright summer colors. Juan has participated in Fabretto’s programs his entire life. Today, he’s an active member of the cooperative and studies Business Administration at a local university. Single Bead Macrame Bracelet - $6
Cross Pendant Necklace - $16
Orquidea, age 17, is one of the youngest artisans in the Nica HOPE cooperative. She has already shown her entreprenurial spirit and great dedication to her work. Here, she is modeling the Mother of Pearl Pendant Necklace ($20).
Orquidea’s Story With support from Fabretto’s programs and the Nica HOPE Cooperative, Orquidea is transforming her life. At first glance, Orquidea may seem like a shy teenage girl, but when we sat down to interview her, her self confidence shone through. She was excited to tell us all about her experiences and achievements in the cooperative with Fabretto’s support. In her own words: “Two years ago, I was enrolled in computer classes through Fabretto’s vocational education program at the San Francisco Center. I began participating in the jewelry workshops, and I didn’t hesitate for a second to become a member of the Nica HOPE cooperative, which was forming at that time. Today, I’m a legal member and speaker in the cooperative. I’m also in my first year of the university majoring in Journalism, and thanks to the income I earn with our business, I can cover my university expenses. I’m still pretty young, but I think up to this point, I can say that I’ve learned to fight to achieve my goals, and I’ve been successful.”
Orquidea and Hannah (Fabretto’s volunteer coordinator) had a blast at our photoshoot! Both young women are wearing one of our featured products for summer, the Triple Wrap Bracelet.
Stacking Bracelets Nica HOPE artisan Linda shows off the cooperativeâ€™s new Stacking Bracelets ($9 each). Linda, who lives in Acahualinca, is one of the newest members of the Nica HOPE Cooperative. With support from Fabrettoâ€™s programs, she has developed skills in the arts and stands out for her creativity. In addition to jewelry making, she also enjoys visual arts. Each Stacking Bracelet features beaded charms with spiral detailing. With five color options, you can mix and match to express your individual style, or switch it up to complement different outfits.
Artisan Yahoska shows off the beautiful Triple Wrap Bracelet ($14), one of the stars of the season! The shiny silver beads and bright colors combine to make a bold summer statement.
Pine Products In 2002, Fabretto helped start the Pine Needle Basket initiative, which is now a legally incorporated, self-standing and successful cooperative made up of women from Cusmapa and the surrounding rural communities.
New Spiral Pine Bracelet with blue thread - $14
The cooperativeâ€™s story began when five local women started working with a Fabretto/JVI volunteer, Manon Cypher, to learn the traditional art of creating pine needle baskets. In this remote mountain village, women often have little education, few marketable skills, and even fewer opportunities for gainful employment. As the women developed their craft, Fabretto helped them market and sell the baskets as a source of income to support their families. Today, the cooperative has flourished into a thriving, independent business with steady national and international sales. The cooperative allows the women flexibility to work on their own schedule and earn based on their personal production, often two to three times more than a typical local salary. Through the cooperative, women have developed leadership skills, confidence, and pride in their abilities as artisans.
These unique Multicolor Coasters will impress any guest. The perfect addition to your next summer party! - $22
Artisans in the Womenâ€™s Basket Cooperative in the mountains of San JosĂŠ de Cusmapa
THANK YOU Many thanks to our photographer, Jakub Okon, and all of the models who participated in the summer photoshoot.
Visit our online shop at www.fabretto.org 14