Sharing the Dream in Guatemala began in 1996 with the dream of promoting sustainable fair trade by providing fair wages and employment opportunities to low-income artisans. We work with over 20 cooperatives and small businesses that use traditional Maya techniques to create unique, handmade products. The purchase of these crafts not only provides an income for these artisans, but also supports community development projects in Guatemala.
Our ongoing projects include:
Artisan development project that provides workshops and ongoing educational opportunities for artisans
Elder center that feeds and provides medical care for over 60 Maya elders
Educational scholarships for elementary, middle and high school students
Financial support for a medical center and a health promoter in the jungle
Maintaining an inn for volunteers, tour groups, and locals
We also support community based projects that vary according to the needs of the community, such as water, roofs, floors and stoves.
Friends of Sharing the Dream is a 501(c)(3) organization that accepts donations to support our projects, artisans and their families. 100% of our donations return to Guatemala to help advance our projects and mission. Sharing the Dream emphasizes creating equal relationships with Guatemalans and strives to promote education, independence and innovation in all of our projects.
How can I help?
Donate to a project! 100% will go to the project of your choice!
Sponsor an elder! We’ll send you a biography and a picture so you know who you are supporting.
Sponsor a scholarship student! Your donation will help a Guatemalan student achieve their dreams and become educated leaders.
Host a sale in your community! Help spread our dream and sell unique fair trade gifts at the same time!
What is Fair Trade?
Fair trade organizations, like Sharing the Dream, are systems of exchange that seek to create greater equity and partnership in international trading system by:
Paying fair wages in local context
Supporting participatory workplaces
Ensuring environmental sustainability
Supplying financial and technical support
Offering public accountability
Respecting cultural identity
Building direct and long-term relationships
Why Fair Trade?
With fair trade, everyone benefits.
Consumers get a great, high quality product for a reasonable price because fair trade organizations work directly with producers, cutting out the middle-men that often increase prices.
Producers get a fair price for their labor and are able to support their families.
Communities see positive development, as health, nutrition, and education improve and other resources become more plentiful.
Sharing the Dream Staff Members
United States Diane Nesselhuf,Founder & Director Michele Mechling,Store Manager Vermillion Store Karen Kraus, Store Manager Sioux Falls Store Gail Ament, Chairman of the Board of Directors
Guatemala Lauren Vaske, Director in Guatemala Bernabela Sapalú,Elder Center and Bead Group Coordinator Juan Cali, Elder Center and Bead Group Assistant Maria Tzina, Elder Center Kitchen Assistant Esteban Sapalú, Inn Coordinator and Scholarship Tutor Antonio Sol, Administrative Assistant and Tutoring Assistant Ashley Ford, Artisan Development Director Isabel Churunel, Artisan Development Coordinator
Friends of the Sharing the Dream in Guatemala is a 501(c)(3) organization under the IRS Code. Your donations are tax deductible.