Looking back on 2020 and looking forward
January 1, 2021
Like most people around the world, we look back on 2020 in terms of how we empowered artisans before COVID hit, how we supported their communities during the pandemic and how we are taking to try to move forward. Here is a summary of our journey.
January - March 15, 2020
Training Artisans to Make New Birds
We hosted several workshops where experienced artisans learned to make ornaments of popular North American birds including the cardinal, goldfinch and bluebird.
We are building a team of artisan facilitators who are passionate about showing others how to make new crafts and build their confidence and pride in being artisans.
Supporting tree planting for food
ο»Ώ and income
We helped our partner Camino Verde launch an agroforestry project to plant 10 native tree species with partners in two Ampiyacu native communities.
Empowering artisans to organize and market their crafts
We hosted several workshops to help artisan groups consider their goals, leadership roles, strategies to manage craft plants, and new ways to sell their products.
We held our fourth series of conflict resolution workshops through the Alternatives to Violence (AVP) program with dramatic effects for some families and groups.
We worked with our partner OnePlanet to offer artisans from three Maijuna native villages in the Napo River area their first chance to make jungle bird ornaments with chambira palm fiber.
Responding to COVID
Aid for Emergency Medical Treatment
We were all shocked when COVID hit and shut down our normal operations. We first responded to partners who needed some funds to bring community members to a hospital in the city.
Medicines for Clinics and Health Promoters
We sent almost $7,700 worth of medicines to two regional health clinics and health promoters in four other communities to help over a thousand people cope with the COVID-19 virus.
We sent packages of food and other staples to 564 families in 16 locations to help them cope with their loss of income during the pandemic. See our full COVID campaign report.
Moving forward
Restarting the AVP Program
We brought together the apprentice facilitators from the MaraΓ±on region in Nauta so they could practice their skills and refresh their community.
Guided Craft Making Workshops
One artisan leader has now worked with artisans from three communities to fill large orders for the marvelous spatuletail and other birds.
Ornaments for Sale at Christmas Tree Shop
While we could not sell crafts at live events since COVID hit, we were grateful to Tait Trees to offer our ornaments to their customers in Boalsburg, PA.
Connecting with New Partners
We participated in two online courses with the Creative Action Institute with other NGOs from Latin America to learn new ways to work with our community partners.
Creating Sister Groups for CACE in Peru
We created the Garza Viva company and non-profit Amazon Ecology in Peru so local people will be more involved in setting our mission and managing our programs.
Fair Trade Store Reopens in Iquitos
The Garza Viva store reopened in Iquitos in early December and quickly made its first sale.
Thanks for your support
Visit our online store to see the best variety of fair-trade crafts from the Peruvian Amazon. Your purchase helps artisans support their families and recover from the pandemic.
Grants and Donations Sustain our Work
We are so grateful to the Sisters of Mercy and others who supported our COVID Relief Campaign and contributed to us on GivingTuesday and beyond.
Volunteers Make a Difference
We much appreciate our board members who guide us and other volunteers who help us edit photos, enter data on spreadsheets, describe products write codes on tags.
We envision an Amazonia where people create sustainable livelihoods, empower communities, and regenerate the Amazon rainforest.