Creamos futuros in Guatemala At Mikoleon, we are always joining with other organizations to offer our support wherever we can. When we came across the organization, Creamos Futuros, in Guatemala, we knew that we needed to help. In Guatemala, many aren’t given the opportunity to work, whether from a lack of education or other difficult circumstances. Guatemalan women especially are limited on the technical skills that they’re able to learn due to the time consuming responsibilities of caring for a family. Because of this reality, many aren’t able to bring in the income to support their families so they find themselves stuck in this struggle of too many needs and not being able to meet them. Many women are forced to forage landfills to hope to find usable goods to give back to their families. Of course, this is an extremely dangerous thing for these women to do, as they can be exposed to countless toxins while at the landfill and the surrounding area of this local garbage dump is in an unsafe area. No matter the risks, many Guatemalan women are willing to still salvage what they can from the landfill because they don’t have any other options. This is where Creamos Futuros came in. This organization was initiated in 2008 when it began to work with its parent NGO, Safe Passage. While Safe Passage is a program more tailored to support the youth that live near the dump, Creamos recognized that there was a need to support the parents, especially the mothers of these children. There was a frequent issue of women risking their lives by living near and traveling to this dangerous location out of desperation to provide for their families. The History In 2014, Creamos Futuros was officially established as its own Guatemalan NGO, focused on its specific goal of helping the women of these families that live near the Guatemala City garbage dump. This program is to help provide resources to these women that are facing such unique challenges and poverty. Instead of the women feeling forced to travel to the dump each day, this organization provides free opportunities for them to learn skills that they can then use to get a proper paying job. No longer do they have to be in trapped circumstances, they are given a path to a more stable future. The Creamos Futuros website says, “We believe women are the key to changing themselves, families and community. Creamos opens the doors of opportunities for dignified and sustainable employment, emotional support services, and foster a community of ongoing education.” This incredible organization has changed the lives of so many of these women helping them to “become leaders and change-agents within their community and families.” This is why we at Mikoleon are thrilled to be working with the Creamos Futuros organization! To help promote sustainability and to give work opportunities to these incredible women, we have hired them to create our dust bags that we package our product in when we ship it. We use natural and re-used materials to help these women have a project to practice sewing on. This can explain why sometimes our dust bags aren’t stitched to perfection or don’t look identical. These women are practicing their sewing skills so they can develop a trade that they can then use to help them get employed to provide for their families. We’re so honored to have this opportunity to do what we can to help these women develop a trade in a safe, educational, economical and supportive environment. Canvas Tote Bags Additionally, as these women have been working on their sewing, we are teaming up with them for our next Miko Marketplace product, Canvas Tote Bags! Made with natural and recycled materials, these bags are beautifully handmade with unique art printed onto them. We love the story that is behind these tote bags and couldn’t be more proud to have these amazing women working with us. These bags are dropping in April to celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd! We love our earth and believe in using it responsibly with slow fashion and sustainability efforts. Make sure you buy one of these gorgeous and practical tote bags on Friday April 9th @ 6 p.m. PST.