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Weaving Baskets for Better Lives

Artisans have more than doubled previous monthly earnings

Women in the remote Peruvian Amazon village of San Antonio de Pintuyacu are weaving hundreds of beautiful baskets from the fibers of the Chambira palm tree, which are now being sold at the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Natural History Museum. The basket program, initiated by NCI with assistance from the government of Loreto, Peru, IIAP, and the Moore Foundation, is an effort aimed at “productive conservation,” which will help save the rain forest by transforming it into a renewable economic resource for local people. The indigenous people here are already seeing the benefits. Artisans get $10 to $12 for each basket, which has more than doubled previous monthly earnings. Two years ago, households in this region earned as little as $30 a month selling fish and palm frond roofing at city markets. Today, experienced weavers can earn up to $100 a month, and the program has proven that sustainable production from local resources is an excellent strategy for long-term conservation of fragile ecosystems.

 

For more information and to see this project featured in the New York Times please visit:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/20/business/worldbusiness/20peru.html?_r=1#


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