About Fair Trade and Mayan Hands

Mayan Hands is a fair trade, non-profit organization with a mission to empower Mayan women in their quest to bring their families out of extreme poverty while continuing to live within the culture that they cherish. In addition to a regular income, we offer opportunities that include scholarships and school supplies for their children, micro-loans, training in new skills and techniques for artisans, as well as classes in leadership development, business skills, gender awareness, health, domestic violence prevention, and conflict resolution.

With a Mayan Hands Friendship Bracelet Fundraiser, you can make money and make a difference. The sales are fun and easy to implement and you would be selling a high quality product that is produced in a socially responsible way. At the same time, you are empowering Mayan women to provide nutritious food for their families, send their own children to school and to improve their local communities.

Fair trade is an approach to business and to development based on dialogue, transparency, and respect. Fair trade supports artisans and farmers in developing countries who are socially and economically marginalized. Mayan Hands is a founding member of the Fair Trade Federation, which represents the deepest commitment one can make in the fair trade world. We build long-term partnerships that ensure good wages and safe conditions on the ground and we strive to be responsible and to create positive change. 

About Friendship Bracelets

For thousands of years, people have exchanged knotted bracelets as symbols of friendship. Today, these bracelets also represent the promise of a better life in developing communities.

Mayan Hands artisan partners, working together in cooperatives, make bracelets to be sold in other countries. Although they are also skilled weavers, the women especially enjoy making friendship bracelets and knowing that their work connects them with people around the world. No child labor is involved in the making of our products.

Your Fundraiser

•Mayan Hands will send you an assortment of our best-selling fair trade bracelets, all intricately woven in a variety of colors and styles.

•You sell bracelets for $5 each. (You may choose to charge a higher price.)

•After returning your unsold bracelets to Mayan Hands, you will be invoiced for $3 per bracelet, yielding you 40% of your sales total.

Once you send us your agreement and discuss with us the details of your sale, we will choose your bracelets and send them out within a day or two.

Generally, we recommend that you hold a sale over the course of a week. We request that you return bracelets immediately upon the conclusion of your fundraiser so that we have enough bracelets on hand to send to other schools. However, we are happy to work with you if you need a different arrangement or timeframe.

We’ve learned that there are two keys to a successful sale: to be organized and to promote the sale before and during the fundraiser. Please see our Friendship Bracelet Fundraiser Guide for suggestions from other schools and campuses.

Most groups fundraise for their own special projects. However, some schools have donated their profits back to Mayan Hands’ Education Program, which funds scholarships for indigenous girls in Guatemala, most of whom would not be able to attend school without this kind of assistance.

Just email us at info@mayanhands.org or call us at (518) 729-1900 and we'll get you started!

We’re happy to talk with you! Call us at (518) 729-1900 Monday through Friday 9:00 am through 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time. You can reach us by email atinfo@mayanhands.org.

The Numbers

By selling the bracelets at $5 each, you will earn 40% of your sales total. You are free to set your own price for the bracelets, but please know that you are responsible for returning $3 to Mayan Hands for bracelet that you don't return to us.

If you like, you can purchase bracelets before your sale at wholesale cost and earn 50% or more of your total. However you will not be able to return any unsold bracelets purchased at wholesale terms. 

Yes. Just know that you will be responsible for returning $3 to Mayan Hands for each non-returned bracelet.

We will work with you to determine the best quantity, based on when and where you plan to hold your sale.

We don’t require you to pay us before we send you the bracelets, however we do request that you provide us a credit card number as a guarantee.

Before your sale, we will send you a fundraising agreement, which you must complete and return to us before your bracelets will be sent.

Mayan Hands covers the cost of shipping to you. After your sale, you pay for return shipping. Because the bracelets are neither large nor heavy, return shipping costs are inexpensive.

After you return your unsold bracelets to us, we will inventory them to calculate what you owe us. We will then send you an invoice and ask that you send us payment as soon as you receive the invoice.

Supporting Mayan Hands Artisans

Some schools have chosen to return their profits to Mayan Hands Education Fund for scholarships for Mayan girls. In Guatemala, girls face barriers to the quality education they deserve, simply because they are girls. Domestic housework, cultural bias, poverty, hunger, violence, and early or forced marriage are a daily reality. But there is hope and change is happening! With the support of scholarships, daughters of illiterate mothers are completing high school and are ready to attend university.Educating girls can break the cycle of poverty in one generation.Mayan Hands education fund also provides school supplies to all children of our artisan partners.

Yes! Mayan Hands is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and donations are tax deductible. Visit our website and click on Donate or you call us at (518) 729-1900.