Frequently Asked Questions

What is fair trade?

Fair trade is an approach to business and to development based on dialogue, transparency, and respect that seeks to create greater equity in the international trading system. Fair trade supports artisans and farmers in developing countries who are socially and economically marginalized. These producers often face steep hurdles in finding markets and customers for their goods. We work closely with our artisan partners to ensure good wages, safe working conditions, environmental responsibility, and economic growth.  

Mayan Hands is a founding member of the Fair Trade Federationa community of businesses committed to 360° fair trade. Members are screened and verified based on all nine Fair Trade Federation principles and uphold the highest standards of fair trade business practice.

 

How can I help?

There are many ways you can contribute to Mayan Hands and our talented artisan partners and their families!

Host a sale  Support Mayan women’s efforts to break out of the poverty cycle by hosting a Mayan Hands consignment sale

Help Increase Our Customer Base  Do you know a store that would be a good fit for our handmade fair trade products? Tell them about Mayan Hands and let us know so that we can follow up.

Donate  100% of all donations directly benefit Mayan Hands artisans and their families. Here are some examples of what our donation fund has recently accomplished:

  • Workshops teaching new techniques 
  • Leadership and business skills training
  • Scholarships for daughters of our artisan partners and school supplies for all children
  • Outreach to develop new groups, which includes skills assessment, leadership training, quality control and ongoing monitoring
  • Medical support such as eye exams and occupational health and safety education

Please let us know if you have a specific request for how your donation is used. Otherwise it will be used where the need is greatest.

 

Can I host a sale? 

Yes, with a Mayan Hands Consignment Sale, you can transform your place of worship, workplace, home or school into a colorful Guatemalan market. The sales are fun, our products sell themselves, and you do your part in making the world a better place! 

As a Mayan Hands volunteer, you will:

  • Empower Mayan women in Guatemala to build a better future for their families and communities
  • Share beautiful and unique handmade products that are ethically made
  • Increase awareness of fair trade and economic justice 

Consignees are eligible to keep 15% of your total sales - or you can return all sale proceeds to create even greater impact for families in Guatemala struggling to lift their families out of extreme poverty. Contact us to discuss your plans and we will work with you to schedule your sale and send a box of merchandise your way.  
  
Please be sure to schedule winter holiday sales early as our calendar fills up quickly this time of year.

 

Can I fundraise with Mayan Hands?

Many schools, colleges and youth groups have participated in our Fair Trade Friendship Bracelet Fundraiser Program, a great alternative to conventional school fundraisers. Schools can raise money for their project AND make a difference in the lives of families in a developing country. The fundraiser is socially responsible and easy to implement. For more information, contact us at bracelets@mayanhands.org.

 

Can I sell Mayan Hands products in my store?

Yes! We welcome retail partners as a vital link in the chain of cooperation and support for the women of Mayan Hands, their families and communities in Guatemala.  

Prospective wholesale clients are invited to establish a Mayan Hands Wholesale Account online. After we approve your account (usually within one business day), you will then be able to log in to view wholesale pricing and order. Wholesale prices are available only to approved retailers. If you have any questions, please email us or call us at (518) 729-1900.

 

I sell Mayan Hands products and would like to use some of your photographs. Is that OK?

In most cases, yes. Please contact us first to obtain permission. All images are copyrighted and Mayan Hands must be credited.. Especially with photos of our artisan partners, we wish to respect agreements with the women as well as the professional photographer who donated services to Mayan Hands. In your request, please let us know which image you would like to use and how you plan to use it.

 

Can I visit Mayan Hands in Guatemala?

Each year, fair trade and textile aficionados join us on tours tin beautiful Guatemala. Tour highlights include:

  • Visiting groups of Mayan weavers and artisans in their villages
  • Meeting with women’s cooperatives
  • Trying your hand weaving on a backstrap loom or making a basket
  • Shopping the world-famous handicraft market in Chichicastenango
  • Visiting Mayan sites and museums, including Museo Ixchel
  • Exploring the Guatemalan Highlands, beautiful Lake Atitlan and the colonial city of Antigua

Please contact us if you would like more information about Mayan Hands tours. Custom tours are also available.

Sometimes people ask us if they can visit our artisan partners. Because the women do not usually gather to work together in a workshop setting, but instead work at their homes in rather remote locations, we do not typically arrange visits outside of our regular tours.

 

Can I volunteer with Mayan Hands in Guatemala?

At this time we do not have a volunteer program in Guatemala. We encourage you to consider contacting one of the many other nonprofits doing great work in Guatemala.

Search our store