Kickin’ it Series – Live Video Chats with Fair Trade Farmer and Artisan

Courtney Lang March 19, 2013

coop meeting (3)

This April & May we’re going on tour with Miguel Mateo, Fair Trade Coffee Farmer, and Gloria Chonay, Fair Trade Basket Weaver, from Guatemala.  We’ll be visiting Fair Trade Campaigns along the Eastern seaboard giving their campaigns a chance to meet the beneficiaries of Fair Trade first-hand.  We want everyone who advocates and purchases Fair Trade to meet these amazing individuals so we’ll be streaming presentations while on the road – you have the chance to meet them live! Pick one of the four dates below and kick it with Miguel Mateo or Gloria Chonay!  You’ll be able to chime in through video and get all your questions about Fair Trade answered.

Miguel Mateo:

Gloria Chonay:

How do I participate?

Take a look at the dates above and decide with your friends, family or committee which date works best with your schedules.  When you’re ready, click on the appropriate date to register.  Once you’ve registered you will get a confirmation email with the invitation link.

Who’s invited?

The Kickin’ it Series is free and open to the public.  Take a lunch break and tune in;  get your steering committees together;  invite classroom teachers to stream it; rally social justice groups and sustainability clubs  to tune in.  We hope to see old and new faces.

Meet our guests . . .

Miguel Mateo 1 002 Miguel Mateo, who was born in 1973 in a small village in the Guatemalan municipality of Huehuetenango, is a native Mayan language speaker and college graduate from the University of San Carlos with a bachelor’s degree in Community Development. For 15 years, Miguel worked with small-scale farmers, mostly coffee farmers, before shifting his focus to work on the commercial side of production. Since 2006 Miguel has been part of the Manos Campesinas co-operative team, managing the sales of the various member organizations and also overseeing their finances.

Gloria Chonay is a Mayan artisan and leader of a cooperative of basket makers in Xeabaj, a rural community Gloria Chonay  (3)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

We hope to see you there!



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Courtney Lang, National Organizer | Fair Trade Campaigns

Courtney Lang brings over 5 years of community organizing to Fair Trade Towns USA, building both the Local Food and Fair Trade networks in Vermont. As Local Food Coordinator with City Market/Onion River Cooperative, Courtney worked with local producers, institutions and consumers to grow the local food system and organize a strategic model for community engagement through farm tours, workshops, and local food challenges. Like many in the Fair Trade industry, Courtney was inspired to take action in Fair Trade when she witnessed child-labor first hand in Costa Rica. As a founding member of Fair Trade Burlington, she has worked with economic development organizations, businesses, and consumers to build awareness of Fair Trade among Vermonters. She also worked with a Fair Trade USA licensee, Vermont Coffee Company, as Friend Ambassador where she united the story of Fair Trade to every purchase of coffee.