Originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, Baltazar and his wife Fabiola weave bags from palm and synthetic palm for a living. They work and sell their craft in Mexico City on the side of the road. Together they are raising their 3-year-old daughter. Baltazar’s family has been weaving palm for 20 years. Fabiola and Baltazar try to support people from Baltazar’s birthplace who have lesser opportunities by buying their material from them instead of commercially in the city where they could find it cheaper.
Aside form being a weaver; Baltazar also plays in a band he formed with his cousins. They play contemporary music at events, and they also do the traditional chinelos performances.
He is currently trying to teach his wife his native dialect of Mixteco.
Baltazar is a sweet, funny and kind man, with many hopes and dreams.
A very quiet and shy man from Oaxaca, Mexico, Bartolo sells his beadwork during the weekends, and works on construction sites during the week. He lives in Mexico City, where he has his art stand in a plaza in the center of the city. He has been working with beads for 10 years, and tries to come up with new pieces often.
His wife Rosalba and him are raising three kids, 2 girls and a boy, and you can find all of them in the city blowing bubbles and running around while he sells.
He hopes to be able to quit working on construction to dedicate himself full time to beading.
Bartolo is a gentle soul, eager to work and full of energy to grow his business.
Since working with Kelly he has invested in many more patterns so he can create new pieces. He is excited to continue to grow as an artisan.
Fabiola is from Mexico City and is married to Baltazar. When they first met, she was working as a salesperson at an art supply store.
She is a working mom, raising their 3 year old daughter and running their "stand". Baltazar has taught her his skills, and she helps with weaving the palm bags and makes her own synthetic palm creations.
She is a very smart, hard working woman, and she knows exactly how to run their little business. She is funny, kind and strong willed.
Originally from Cusco, Peru, Felícitas and her husband Adrián started their small craft business in Miraflores in Lima back when Miraflores was nothing but a dirt square and a few houses.
Together with a few other artisans, they formed a community and started developing what is now known as “El Mercado del Inka”.
Felícitas comes from a long line of artisans in Cuzco, where she still has a small store. Her dream is to open a hotel in the Sacred Valley of Peru.
Her husband Adrián was a master costume jewelry craftsman and at one point exported to China and Japan. Unfortunately Adrián passed away in 2013.
Felícitas and her three sons go back to Cusco periodically where they work with artisans from smaller towns and help them to hone their craft and teach them new skills, which she brings to Lima to sell. She employs single mothers and women who are in need of work.
Her three sons have their own store where they also craft all the while helping Felícitas with her store.
They are a hardworking and motivated family. They are humble and generous with what they have earned.Working with them is always a pleasure.
Jesus and his wife work at their art stand in the center of Mexico City. Jesus runs the stand that began as his father's and you can still find his father working there.
Walking into their stand is like getting lost in tassel heaven. They are incredibly talented people with an eagerness to please.
Jesus is a shy, kind and humble man.
José is from Lima, Peru, where he has his basket stand.
José’s mother taught him how to weave palms when he was a little boy. He went to school and started working in construction, as art wasn’t really valuable in Peru at the time. He then studied to become a mechanic in order to create a better life for himself, but his dream was always to be an artist and to export his goods.
He bought his own plot of land when he was 17, and built his own house. He married ten years later and raised his three kids on that plot of land.
Unfortunately his wife and him separated, and he lost his home. He now lives in a rented room. His goal is to follow his childhood dream of exporting his art.
José is very passionate about his work. He is a soft spoken, hardworking and creative man, very eager to succeed.
Native to Cusco, Peru, Marisol has been creating her pieces for 18 years.
Marisol had a son to her first fiancé who left her with Christian, her baby, at birth. Christian is on the autism spectrum, and she has raised him by making money on her craft. Marisol then met her soul mate, Eduardo, and together they crafted and created pieces they sold and lived off of. He helped her in so many ways. On July 29 of 2017 Marisol’s life was once again turned upside down when Eduardo was tragically murdered.
Marisol has so much faith and energy. She is loving and caring and thankful for her opportunities. She is kind and generous despite her troubles.
Melchor is from Oaxaca, where he still resides. He is 54 years old and has been married for 25 years, and together they have 7 kids. Melchor has been making straw bags in forms of animals since he was 15, and it has become his passion. Each animal takes him about 7 hours to make.
Melchor has taught his wife and two of his children his craft, and they are now his helpers.
Raúl is from the state of Guerrero, Mexico. He moved to Mexico City and started working in Human Resources for a Mexican Government building. He didn’t like working for the government, and his opportunities were limited, so he quit to become a full time artisan.
He loves creating, and finds that it relaxes him to work. He has been working at this for 8 years, and together with his wife, he is raising three children.
Raúl is a very polite, helpful man. He is eager to innovate and create, as well as trying to learn new crafts and designs.
Since working with JAC he has stopped selling on the street and now works only from home and for custom orders.
When he received JAC's order he was ecstatic to have the opportunity to create change in the US as well as in Mexico, and he quickly put his sons and daughter-in-law to work as well.
Vicenta was born in the outskirts of Cusco, Peru, in a town called Espinar. She had a rough start to life, having lost her mother at childbirth. She has felt alone her entire life as her father died when she was 8 years old. After her father's passing, she went to live with her uncle, but according to her, he never loved her.
Her break in life came from her Godmother who taught her how to sew and knit, and that is how she has supported herself through the years. She now lives on her own in Cusco, and is eager to work on special commissions. When Kelly asked her if she could make her some hats, she had them ready in two days saying that opportunities like that don't present themselves often and she wanted to make sure she took it.
Vicenta is a kind, quiet, gentle woman. She is hungry for work, and grateful for any job given to her.
Yoseline is a 21-year-old art lover form Mexico City. At a young age she realized she loved drawing and crafting. She started by drawing on paper napkins and then kept going from there.
She grew up in a household where there was no extra income for lessons or schooling, but she didn’t give up. She started making small birdhouses and other crafts, and as she got better her friends and family would ask her for pieces as gifts which she then started selling.
Her father left her mother, herself and her younger brother when she was only 15, at which point Yoseline started helping her mom financially through her artwork. Her mom suffers from Diabetes, and all the income she makes now goes to help her small family, and she is so grateful to have this work.
Since working with JAC she has been able to provide financially for the treatment for her mom and is currently working with JAC Team Member Iliana as a Health Coach to help her mom (free of charge).
She is a very humble, passionate and kind girl. Hard working and friendly.