Tuesday, September 15, 2009

a good cause

When I was packing to come to Ecuador, I really hadn't given much thought at all to what my life would be like for the next two and a half months—I literally just didn't have time. One thing I did take into account, however, was how much money to bring with me. OSSO, the organization I'm down here with, suggested that volunteers generally spend between $200-$500. I promised myself that I would only bring $200 in cash (small bills only, as suggested) and I would certainly have money left over. People really spend $500?! On what?! Our food, rent, and almost all our transportation is paid for; what could people possibly find to spend that much money on?!

Well, I am learning. Today we discovered a small shop in an industrial area of the city that is owned by a small female artisan co-op that is based somewhere in the countryside here in Ecuador. These women have gathered together to create this shop where they sell their handmade goods, specializing in embroidery and knit items. Their work is beautiful and my favorite part is that all the proceeds go directly to the women who have created these beautiful works of art! Below is a shirt that I bought there today. I tried it on initially just to see how the type of shirt fit, not really liking this particular embroidery all that much, but once it was on I just loved it and bought it—only $12. I also custom ordered another shirt with an image of a country woman embroidering something embroidered on it. I get it next Monday and I can't wait! It also cost only $12, despite the fact that both the image, placement of the image, and the length and size of the shirt were custom ordered. I am maybe a little obsessed with it.

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