I'm from Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, but I now live and work in Nicaragua, Central America. I'm the executive director of Esperanza en Acciòn ("Hope through Action") Fair Trade Organization, a non-profit that I founded in 2002 in response to the request of Nicaraguan artisans. I am a social justice educator (with an emphasis on global economic justice) and teach folks visiting from all over the world who come to Nicaragua and I also do speaking tours in the U.S.
The mission of Esperanza is two-fold: economic empowerment of Nicaraguan artisans, promoting their work, and helping to connect them with fair markets both in Nicaragua and internationally; and, empowering people in the "First World" to help transform our global economic system into one that is fair for ALL people.
I work with artisans all over Nicaragua that make beautiful handmade pottery, stone carvings, weavings, pine needle baskets, grass baskets, bamboo baskets, paintings, jewelry, cards, animal whistles, embroidered clothes, and more.
I also work promoting fair trade, organic, shade grown coffee produced by Nicaraguan farmers who have been tremendously affected by the international coffee crisis.
And I help to promote the work of a Nueva Vida Women's Sewing Cooperative comprised of women who used to work in the sweatshops, left, and built their own fair trade garment factory.
You can see photos of all of them and other pictures of Nicaragua here, as well as photos of my trip to Cuba and other travels... and more!
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