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Artistic Weavers of Zapatera Island

Artisan Organization: Artistic Weavers of Zapatera Island

Country: Central America

"The Artistic Weavers of Zapatera Island is a collective formed in Nicaragua in the 1990s after several families relocated from Northern Nicaragua and became part of the agricultural communities.

"At that time, the Universidad Centroamericana assisted us. It was a rural organization that grouped 22 cooperatives. Inside of this organization, the Women’s Association of Iris Vado became our first group of organized women.

"There were many changes and, in 2005, the group was reborn as a collective. Despite the difficulties along the way, we've managed to keep the organization and transformed it into the group of artisan women it is today.

"Over time, we have strengthened our abilities to direct small projects for our families and communities where we can protect our autonomy in making decisions and learn new artisan skills.

"Our women weavers create apparel, accessories, home décor and more. we work from the group's clubhouse where we have our own workshop and sell our crafts to tourists.

"Our group brings together ten persevering women who have worked to achieve our dreams. Each of us creates the same number of weavings each month. We divide the earnings between payment for each woman, materials, food and basic medical care for our families.

"Despite the inconveniences and being away from a city, we've learned to manage our earnings, use them productively and purchased our own boat to travel to the mainland.

"Thanks to everyone who has believed in this life project, we are progressing day by day with many dreams in mind. We want to keep working toward achieving them so that our families and community have the opportunity to grow and have a dignified life.""