Monthly Artisan Story: The Impact of Long-term Partnerships in Ecuador
Luis & Marina
The impact of long-term partnerships are not always captured in numbers, but in the stories of people whose lives have been changed. Noonday has partnered with Luis and Marina in Ecuador for five years, and through this sustained relationship, they have flourished.
Noonday’s partnership with Luis & Marina started in 2014 when Noonday placed its first order for a brightly colored tagua seed necklace. At that time, Luis and Marina were able to hire some of their neighbors and friends to help them fulfill Noonday’s orders. When these orders came in, the couple thought, “All our dreams have already come true. Now we have to learn how to dream even bigger.”
And dream bigger they did!
During a recent Ambassador trip to Luis & Marina’s home in Ecuador, Ambassadors saw how the couple’s big dreams have now true! Luis & Marina’s home and family are thriving. With the income earned from Noonday’s orders, they have made improvements to their home by adding a second story to provide more room for their family and their home has more decorations and comfort.
They have also built a new and bigger workshop next to their house, a space that provides a more comfortable place for the Artisans who work there making Noonday’s jewelry. Finally, they have been able to help their son pursue his dream of studying music! The income from Noonday’s orders has not only helped pay for their son’s school fees but has also allowed them to send him to special music classes and purchase instruments.
This is a celebration of flourishing – of how long-term partnerships empower Artisans to make investments that improve not just their own lives, but lives of their families and colleagues, too.
Meet some of the Artisans who are now flourishing because of this long-term partnership!
Sarita is an ambitious young woman. She started working as a general Artisan at Luis and Marina’s workshop in Ecuador and quickly advanced to the role of design assistant. Sarita loves the creativity of her job and making things with her hands for customers across the world. She says her work is “crossing borders” and it makes her proud.
With her income, Sarita is financing her degree in business administration, a dream she and her family were unable to afford before working with Noonday’s Artisan Business Partners. Sarita is also pursuing another life long dream – to have her own business. Together with her family, Sarita is growing a small tourism business that shares the unique culture of Otavalo and Ecuador with visiting tourists.
Lupita has worked with Noonday’s Artisan Business Partner in Ecuador for three years. Lupita describes her coworkers as being “like a family” and work as being a “second home.” She says that work has become a community that shares the good and the bad in each other’s lives. Lupita explains that the Artisans in the workshop laugh together and “work with so much love.”
Marisela has worked with Luis and Marina making pieces for Noonday for five years. Marisela has used her income to support the education of her five children and has been able to send her oldest son, now 24 years old, to university! In addition to the income, she loves her job because of the flexibility – which has allowed her to not only earn an income but also care for her children as they grow up. She loves her job and hopes that all of Noonday’s customers can feel her love in their products.