Barra del Colorado is a coastal community located in the Costa Rican Caribbean side, at the mouth of the Colorado River. This territory has been declared a wildlife refuge, so it is a protected area. And in this hard-to-reach, distant community, more than 30 women are struggling with limited sources of income and significant social issues. They live under impoverished conditions, physical and emotional abuses, and family conflicts. Others have their children in prison due to drugs.
Participants have been able to learn craft techniques with recyclable materials and learn about finishings and product quality to sell. Currently, they make several products like basket weaving with paper straws (baskets, magazine racks, etc.); embossing with aluminum cans (jugs, vases); beads with paper, aluminum, seeds, stones, wire (jewelry); making Afro-Caribbean sculptures; working with bottles, paper, fabric, etc.
Provide new craft skills workshops
Teach new crafting skills that will lead to new income streams. Equipment and raw supplies will be provided as necessary.
Provide life skills workshop
Teach basic life skills, such as personal budgeting and savings, that will complement their goal to provide for the family.
Provide business skills workshops
Provide entrepreneurial and business skills workshops to enable the women to create start-ups and run them efficiently.
Create awareness in North America
Create awareness of the Virtuous Woman project by showcasing their crafts and jewelry at events and with organizations.
To date, we have provided several skills training sessions (crafting and life skills), promoted their crafts in Canada, and provided supplies and equipment. In addition, we have taught a new craft for the ladies to make and sell.
In 2019, we established a Virtuous Woman Etsy North American store (virtuouswoman.ca) to help create awareness of the project. Since then, we have set up booths at craft fairs, community events, and during company lunch hours. So consider bringing us to your next company event!
An overview of the Virtuous Woman Project
An overview of the Virtuous Woman Project (Spanish)
Hear the results of this project from the women of Guancaste
Our next steps are the following, in no particular order of priority or preference:
Due to COVID-19, we will be exploring virtual workshops
Develop a curriculum or a range of topics to cover with the women in the program
Teach new craft skills to increase revenue streams
INTERACTIVE PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS
Tip: Try dragging the photos!