About Handmade by Friendship Bridge
We provide skills, learning experiences, education, and technical assistance to empower artisan entrepreneurs of Friendship Bridge to reach their potential and sell independently in new local, national, and international markets.
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Over the past 7 years I have bought quite a few different items made by the women artisans who are clients of Friendship Bridge. I have purchased items at Tipca sales, from the online store, and in person on a 2017 trip to Guatemala. I have been without exception pleased with the quality of these items. Friendship Bridge mentors their clients to be successful requiring that their products be of the best quality. I have shopped in markets and Fair Trade shops that had goods that while they were “ handmade” they were not “well made”. The items sold on the Friendship Bridge online store have been consistently of a high standard: Seams are finished and sturdy, beaded jewelry is on strong thread with good clasps, zippers are reliable and don’t jam or break. The beaded pens I purchased feel good in my hand and the ink cartridge is good and replaceable. I feel confident buying anything in the store knowing that if I give them as gifts they will be appreciated. If for my own home, they will be durable as well as beautiful.
Working with Friendship Bridge is an easy wholesale shopping experience. The designs are fresh and the workmanship is excellent. Products come neatly packaged and the labels contain the signature of the artists. The packing slips are clearly labeled. Questions are immediately answered. Just nice people to work with.
We couldn't be more pleased, the products and services are absolutely fantastic!
In large families with limited economic resources, the children are often limited in terms of opportunities available to them. Normally the older children assist in raising the younger siblings and ensuring they are in good health. Still, such larger families, in particular, often struggle to meet basic needs. This is the case of Mirian, a married 32 year-old mother of two who grew up in a large family of nine siblings (seven sisters and two brothers).
Gender inequality remains rampant across Guatemala, and it often has a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable sectors of society, such as the rural indigenous communities. Girls have been particularly affected, and they remain burdened with far more obligations than rights. This is the case of Rosario, currently 48 years old and a mother of four. She is originally from the rural community Cantel in the department of Quetzaltenango. The residents of Cantel place work primarily in the production of textiles, handicrafts, agricultural activity, livestock, and trade.
The popular municipality of Chichicastenango, located in the department of Quiché and frequented by national and international tourists alike, is also the home of Tomasa. 35 years old, married and the mother of four children between the ages of 7 and 19, Tomasa is happy to live in a place like Chichicastenango; she mentions the abundance of fruits such as apples, plums, and peaches as one of the perks her town offers.