Our First Blog Entry- The Artisans of El Plomo
We are excited to start this blog, to have a place to introduce you to all of the wonderful people we work with in Nicaragua. Continue to look for stories about our people, their dreams, and how you can help make them come true!
San Ramón is a municipality in the North of Nicaragua. About two kilometers from San Ramon you will find a small community called El Plomo, which has a primary school of around 100 students. El Plomo is a community where many families have members with disabilities and health problems, some think this is because of the lead (translation of “el plomo” from Spanish) which can be found in the ground, and perhaps through the water consumed by the community. Even as they struggle with this, the people are fighting for their families and have been actively seeking a way to improve their lives.
The women of El Plomo started a group in 2006 that makes jewelry and other items for tourists to support their families and the community. Their work is very good, and tourists are interested in purchasing their creations, however, the volume of tourists is not consistent or large enough for year round support. In the low season (from September to January) the participants of "Women of Lead" have to find another source of income. They work harvesting coffee, or look for other work in agriculture that requires physical work and very low pay. The min wage in the agriculture segment is only about $1.50 per day.
Despite these difficulties they have had success. They have been able to build a small workshop and do other things that help their community. Currently the "Women of El Plomo" are supporting a group of 10 children. The children collect the seeds for jewelry making and in exchange the women give them educational materials such as notebooks, pencils etc. Also in the workshop there is a small library in which children carry out their research or school homework.
The collaboration between Liz, Jerry, and the Women of El Plomo has already created some of Nica Life's best selling pieces. As Nica Life grows, the volume will fill the September to January low times so that these women will not have to go work in the coffee fields. In addition, the women have a dream of employing more women from their community and helping more children complete their studies. The partnership with Nica Life may help this dream come true.