3 projects to the rescue of artisans

By Roger Vela

During the Covid-19 pandemic, an initiative emerged to support Mexican artisans economically affected by the pandemic. Its name is Ensamble Artesano and it is a collaborative platform made up of 36 allied organizations that seek to promote artisanal creation, but above all to reinforce the source of income for communities of Mexican artisans. Among the collaborators of the initiative is Taller Maya, a project that seeks to rescue traditional techniques of the Mayan culture.

This Is Latin America is proud to collaborate with these two great projects: Ensamble Artesano and Taller Maya, because we also seek to support hundreds of Mexican artisans to reactivate their valuable cultural work. For this reason, the handcrafted pieces created in both will be sold for the first time in the United States.

During these months, Ensamble Artesano has created a space for exchange and collaboration to face the economic uncertainty that arose as a result of the global health crisis. That is why this project seeks to strengthen horizontal work ties by directly supporting more than 220 groups of artisans who share and preserve the cultural heritage of Mexico, through the artisan pieces that they create every day.

Recently, through the support of foundations and organizations that made donations to the project, Ensamble Artesano was able to pay for the production of a collection of pieces that pay tribute to the artisan tradition of Mexico. These pieces are made by 2,700 artisans from 18 states of Mexico.

The collection is made up of more than 15 thousand pieces of 16 traditional techniques and is the result of the efforts of thousands of people who have joined to preserve the culture and reactivate the economy of the artisan sector hit by the pandemic.

Ensamble Artesano is made up of Fundación Haciendas del Mundo and Taller Maya in alliance with México Territorio Creativo, Design Week México, Caralarga and Estafeta. It also has the advice of Ingeneris and the United Nations Development Programme in Mexico, and it is a non-profit initiative, so the sale of the collection is intended entirely for a development program for artisan groups and the strengthening of that sector.

On the other hand, Taller Maya was created in 2002 and since then it has promoted Mayan artisan techniques, through a training program led by Fundación Haciendas del Mundo Maya, which resulted in the emergence of community self-management and business management projects.

The purpose of Taller Maya is to generate a source of income for rural Mayan communities that are in the Yucatan Peninsula, and aims to provide equitable conditions, both commercial and labor, for the artisan communities that collaborate in the project.

Within Taller Maya, 42 micro-enterprises collaborate in 32 communities in that region that preserve the knowledge of 14 traditional techniques. These techniques not only help to preserve the cultural and historical heritage of Mexico, they also provide identity to those who work them.

In addition, Taller Maya has collaborated with different brands and organizations such as Christian Louboutin, the result of this collaboration was the creation of 1,500 bags. It was also part of the development of the Vision and Tradition collection with Design Week México and with the prestigious restaurant Noma in the pop up in Tulum.

The pieces that are created within the Taller Maya are made with artisan techniques and are the product of a mix between traditional methods and contemporary adaptations.

Likewise, the products that are used for their elaboration are extracted through sustainable processes and with minimal environmental impact, this makes the pieces unique and special since they are created under a vision of cultural rescue.

This is how different projects and initiatives have managed to reduce the economic impacts that the pandemic has left on the artisan sector and at the same time have promoted the dissemination and development of Mexico’s great cultural heritage so that it continues to be appreciated throughout the world.

To learn more about Ensamble Artesano and Taller Maya and support these projects visit their social media.