It’s more than just earning a living wage, all JUSTA artisans have access to programs following JUSTA’s main initiatives:
Reading, Writing, & Language:
The artisans' first language is the indigenous tongue of either Tzutujil or Cakchiquel, and Spanish wasn't taught in school until more recently. The collectives have been keeping a working chart of words in Spanish, English, and Tzutujil/Cakchiquel so we are learning all three languages at once!
Basic Math & Business Skills:
The artisans have been learning to use a calculator when working on record keeping and accounting for their group. They are also learning cost analysis, from material prices to the value of their hourly work.
Access to Medicine:
JUSTA took all members of the Beading Collective to the eye doctor to examen their eyesight. We then distributed magnifying glasses to all the women to protect their eyesight while working
Personal Financial Understanding:
JUSTA opened personal bank accounts for each artisan. This improves transparency of payments within the business and between artisans. It also allowed for fiscal education, from how to use an ATM to how to balance an account.
Our designs are collaborations between artisans and JUSTA. Here, Rosa draws out some necklace design ideas for a new piece using a small turquoise stone. All women draw out their ideas then compare them and choose the best.
For family medical issues or other serious problems, JUSTA provides the artisan with a loan to help her through that time. Artisans understand that they may pay back their loan over a period of time with their continued work and production, and the whole family benefits.
Computer & Internet Knowledge:
JUSTA opened an email account for each Collective. The artisans then learned how to take their knowledge of tracking production on paper and apply it on-line tools. All production tracking now takes place online and can be shared with artisans and organizers at anytime and anywhere.
Artisans meet once a week to turn in and track their week's work. They receive payment through internet transfers to their bank accounts. Therefore, JUSTA can provide consistent payment from anywhere in the world.
Artisans first began tracking group production with large charts, then moved on to individual weekly printed charts, before now learning to use computers and tracking their wok on computerized spreadsheets.