posted by Fair Trade coordinator, Elizabeth O’Connell
On May 10th 2011, I embarked on a 16-day adventure that would take me from San Francisco all the way up to Seattle and over to Spokane. No, this was not a vacation in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, but an educational speaking tour called “Crafting Change: A Fair Trade Tour”.
I was joined by Sonia Anahue Uscamate, a Fair Trade jewelry maker from Peru, and Carrie Hawthorne, the executive director of Partners for Just Trade, a Fair Trade organization here in the US that imports Fair Trade artisan goods from Peru.
The goal of this tour was to connect American consumers with producers from around the world. These relationships are at the heart of Fair Trade. In spite of having never visited the US before, not speaking English, and having to travel here on her own, Sonia graciously agreed to join us for almost three weeks and share her story more than twenty times. Being able to hear Sonia’s story in her own words, from her own mouth is extremely powerful, and confirms that Fair Trade truly can be a means for sustainable economic development around the world.