An Unexpected Extended Stay in Guatemala

Dear Woven Community,

What a week. What a month. What a year! COVID-19 has flipped the world upside down and every single person is feeling it. We are feeling it and we know you are too. 

All plans have halted as we collectively wait to see what happens next. A couple of weeks ago our team had finished our quarterly strategic meeting to solidify plans for April and May. We were thinking spring break inspo, mother’s day product drops, and new summer collections. We were thinking everything except global pandemic, and now that’s all we can think about.

Over spring break we took a trip to Guatemala. Our plan was to spend time with our artisans, work with them and develop new skills, while exploring the beauty of this country. However, we quickly had to switch from “vacation mode” to “evacuation mode”, as the government closed its borders to prevent an outbreak, causing all flights to be cancelled and a country-wide lockdown. If you haven’t heard from us in a while, it’s because we only very recently were able to return to the U.S. Now that we’re back, we’re shifting gears to address the main challenge at hand: how to continue to support you and our artisans amid COVID-19?

As you might expect, our artisans in Guatemala have been forced to close their stores indefinitely, putting them in a very vulnerable situation. Guatemala is currently in a state of emergency through May 5th and has a country-wide curfew through April 12th in addition to a mandatory lockdown of all business and public transport. While these safety measures are critical for the country they also leave many communities at high risk. 

 

What does this mean for artisans? 

  • All operations have halted including business operations 

  • Artisans no longer have access to local markets to sell their goods and are losing the majority of their business. If artisans do not have wholesale clients who are purchasing right now they have lost 100% of business. 

  • Communities that are not near major towns cannot access public transportation to take them to stores before curfew to purchase food & necessities 

  • For some communities, it is a 2 hour walk to the nearest store 

  • Food insecurity - an already prevalent issue in rural Guatemala is at an all time high 

 

What we’re doing to help & how you can join

  1. We’re partnering with Pixan and Highland Support Project to help provide food and supplies to families in need 

  2. You can donate directly and learn more here

  3. You can purchase ANY Woven product and help! We will be donating 100% of profits from all online purchases from April 1st- through May 5th to the emergency food and supplies fund. 

  4. We’ll be partnering with artisans to help them sell their pieces through our platform (we’ll be sharing more details soon) 

 

At the end of the day, Woven Futures is more than a fashion company. We are a community for people by people and together we will rise from challenging times. We know that COVID-19 is affecting everyone and that’s why we are especially grateful for you now whether your support is monetary, a positive comment, a share or just tuning in. Thanks for being here during this time and being a part of this community, we have endless appreciation for you! 

 

Love,

The Woven Team & our 60+ artisan partners

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