UPAVIM Crafts and the Itty Bitty Global Gift Shop are projects of UPAVIM - A Guatemalan Women's Organization united in their fight for a better life.
The Mission of UPAVIM is to empower women in the community enabling them to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families by providing access to education and employment opportunities, health and child care services, and personal and professional developmental programs.
The challenges for healthy community growth in Guatemala City are numerous... including gang violence, illiteracy, unemployment, malnutrition (children and adults), alcoholism, child abuse, the lack of sufficient education for children, and drug abuse. Yet in spite of these obstacles, the community where UPAVIM is located is named La Esperanza (Hope), and the women of UPAVIM have kept their hope alive. After more than twenty-five years their hard work and example are benefiting the community.
Today UPAVIM exports beautiful Fair Trade handmade gifts & crafts all around the world.
Your Fair Trade gift & crafts' purchases directly support community educational and medical programs. UPAVIM has also started additional small businesses, including a bakery and soy milk factory. International donors, many of them crafts customers, continue to fund scholarships for more than 430 elementary and junior high school students. All of these projects are overseen by the Guatemalan all women volunteer-run UPAVIM board of directors and the 5 program committees. At UPAVIM, the women as members have control over their community services and business decisions.
UPAVIM also distributes Fair Trade products made by a number of groups in rural areas of Guatemala and buys their traditional cotton cloth directly from weaving families and weaving cooperatives. This cuts out middlemen and creates a chain of fair wages and fair prices - from the weaver, to the seamstress, to the customer. We invite you to take a look around our website and enjoy the beauty of the crafts these women/artisans have created. Please know that every purchase makes a difference and greatly enhances the quality of life for these women, their families and their community through the numerous programs, schools & services run by UPAVIM. When you empower women, you grow a community.
UPAVIM was founded by Barb Lorraine in 1989.
Accent your home and kitchen with colorful festive aprons and oven mitts, handmade natural candles and terracotta candle holders plus clever and creative Christmas decor during the holidays. Accessorize your wardrobe with handwoven scarves, beaded jewelry, and an assortment of small and large handbags. Give special gifts to family and friends such as fair trade toys, laptop sleeves and recycled barrettes. When you purchase products that are ethically traded you not only improve the lives of the women of UPAVIM but assist in raising the hopes and aspirations of artisans around the world for a life beyond poverty.