Partners Since 2014
In 2013, Alejandra was deep in debt and struggling to support her family. Then, she began working with Noonday's Artisan Business Partner in Ecuador, and her life began to dramatically shift. She started as a production assistant and deeply enjoyed her work. Growing in her leadership over time, she eventually took on the role of production manager. As Alejandra says, "The work filled my soul and heart. I no longer worked out of necessity but because I loved what I did."
In 2022, Alejandra completely took over ownership of the workshop from the Americans who had owned it up to that point. This tenacious leader is deeply committed to her work and the Artisans who work with her–and is excited to continue the legacy of bringing beautiful handmade Ecuadorian crafts into the world.
Nestled in the Andes, Ecuador is known for its ecological beauty and diversity. Its varied landscape features active volcanoes, rainforests, beaches, and sprawling Incan ruins. Its main exports include agricultural products like cacao, bananas, and flowers. Ecuador is a country that treasures its natural resources–in fact, it was the first nation to officially recognize the rights of nature in its constitution in 2008. Ecuador's indigenous groups make up 25% of the population; their cultures form a unique tapestry of flavors, textiles, and languages.
Stories of Flourishing
MariaFamily is at the heart of everything Maria does. Since joining the workshop in 2012, she has been able to provide for her five children, one of whom has a significant developmental disability and requires around the clock care from Maria and her family. The stability offered by her job not only gives her family security, but joy. Maria shares, “When I see my daughter smiling and my sons enjoying their dinner, my heart fills with joy, and all my work is worth it.”
SaritaFor many indigenous women, there are significant barriers to joining the workforce and utilizing their talents. Sarita was one of these women. She knew that it was common for women in her culture to work in handcrafts, but she wanted to try something different! Sarita has worked hard to develop computer and administration skills that now keep the workshop running smoothly–and her confidence has grown immeasurably as a result. Sarita hopes that her determination and desire for a bright future will inspire other indigenous woman.