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Hands of Friendship Association

Artisan Organization: Hands of Friendship Association

Country: El Salvador

“We are the Hands of Friendship Association, a non-profit association founded in 2001 in the face of the earthquake crisis. We are located in the Miraflores III community of the San Luis Talpa municipality, La Paz department. The association is a group of people who work to improve the living conditions of less fortunate families in El Salvador, families that have an enormous desire to work and get ahead.

“We offer the necessary tools for each family to be transformed in a positive and complete way for the development of their own community; focusing on work, health and housing.

“In the Jícaros Miraflores III workshop, San Luis Talpa, 98% of the personnel working in the workshop are female heads of the household who provide for their families in a dignified manner. Our workshop specializes in the manufacture of handicraft products made from morro (calabash) gourds, with exclusive designs created by Lourdes Vides and Kathya Lemus.

“We have a primary health and nutrition clinic, and we have a general practitioner and nurses who serve the Miraflores community and its surroundings. An average of 3,000 people are served annually. We help 1,800 children annually through nutrition programs. We have benefited 2,500 people through the construction of 563 homes. Four wells, a septic tank and toilets for schools have been dredged.

“Aware that the most difficult thing for an entrepreneur and especially for an artisan is the commercialization of their products, in 2019 we decided to create a project to place their products in our airport store. Our main objective is to continue helping and creating more opportunities for many Salvadorans who do not have the necessary means. By acquiring our products made from the fruit of the morro tree, you are helping to perpetuate this great project.”"