Gloria Chonay: Profile of Fair Trade Atlanta’s Visiting Artisan
Gloria Chonay will be the featured presenter at Fair Trade Atlanta’s open to the public lunch and learn on April 27. Gloria is a Mayan artisan and leader of a cooperative of basket makers in Xeabaj, a rural community in Santa Apolonia, Chimaltenango, in the western highlands of Guatemala. Gloria’s cooperative works with Mayan Hands, a fair trade nonprofit organization that partners with Mayan weavers and artisans. Although recognized worldwide for their artistry and talent, most Mayan weavers live in extreme poverty. Mayan Hands seeks to change this by creating a market for these artisans so they can provide for their families while continuing to live within the culture they cherish.
As group leader, Gloria assists the women who are unable to read or write, translates for visitors, checks for quality and ensures that the cooperative functions efficiently and fairly. Under Gloria’s leadership, the cooperative has nearly doubled in size. The demand for their fine basketry increases each year and the Smithsonian Museum Gift Shop now orders from them.
Be sure to attend the Fair Trade Atlanta lunch and learn on April 27 at Oglethorpe University to meet Gloria and hear more about the amazing work that she does.