The mission statement of Friends of Sharing the Dream in Guatemala states that it is a “volunteer-based fair trade organization that reduces poverty in Guatemala through collaborative partnerships with Guatemalans." I have had the honor and privilege of seeing this mission in action firsthand during two visits to the Elder Center in Santiago Atitlan. After my first trip to the Elder Center in November 2013, I began volunteering by selling Elder Bead Shop jewelry in the United States. The jewelry is beautiful, and people love it! Not only does the sale of the jewelry provide fair trade wages to local ladies in Santiago Atitlan, it also provides financial support for the Center itself.
We have been been doing display/sales for several years now. People are so grateful to see and share the handmade items. They tell us how high quality they are and that they're reasonably priced. Having visited Guatemala and met many of the artisans, we can tell their stories honestly. We have many items of Sharing the Dream art in our own home. Sharing the Dream helps mothers -- many of them widows from the recent protracted civil war -- feed their children and send them to school. Sharing the Dream also helps orphans and senior citizens.