JUSTA is a holistic network supporting indigenous artisans in Central America.
Our designers work directly with artisans to create original designs using traditional methods. The sales provide artisans consistent work and income. The proceeds from each purchase continue to fund our programs. Our customers receive high quality and unique art with deep connection and purpose. Everyone wins!
We go above and beyond Fair Trade principles, creating a direct and transparent chain of producers, production, and products:
We support cultural preservation through providing Mayan artisans with market access for traditional craft. As machine-made, unnatural fibers are being imported into Guatemala, we support local methods such as natural dying and back-strap weaving using indigenous designs and embroidery.
Our designs are a collaborative process with our artisans, allowing them the freedom and space to create and expand artistically. This is a freedom that most indigenous women do not have the opportunity to enjoy.
Artisans work together as a cooperative to support and learn from each other. Trust comes first, and in a culture with a history of suppression and oppression, this trait is so important to cultivate in the present time. Artisans first began tracking group production with large charts, then moved on to individual weekly printed charts. They are now using computers and tracking their work on computerized spreadsheets.
Personal Financial Empowerment
Each artisan has access to a personal bank account. This improves transparency of payments within the project and between artisans. It also allows for fiscal education and responsibility, from basic math to how to use an ATM to how to balance an account. They receive payment through internet transfers to these accounts. Therefore, JUSTA can provide consistent payments from anywhere in the world.
Continuing Education Empowerment
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 to online tools. All production tracking now takes place online and can be shared with artisans and organizers at anytime and anywhere.
Healthy Living Empowerment
We provide artisans with interest free loans for medical emergencies, free eye exams, and access to all Comida Vida programs. The Comida Vida program is a series of workshops with the goal to educate and empower reconnection in all aspects of personal and family health and nutrition. Click here for more information.
Through Comida Vida programming, artisans and communities practice permaculture, recycle and reuse, and composting techniques. We encourage a connection and reconnection to the surrounding environment, while not imposing foreign practices.