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Ecuador Artisan Spotlight: Gracias Fair Trade

We welcome back Gracias Fair Trade to Hope for the Holidays! Gracias was founded in 2008 by Vincent and Susanne Donoghue. They carry warm alpaca winter wear and socks, jewelry, puzzle boxes, home decor, many recycled items, tabletop, fair trade chocolate, personal accessories, wool wallhangings, and fun art supplies from Ecuador, where they currently live for ten months of the year.
Gracias Artisan Spotlight:

Cesar Pilco and his wife Rocio Romero from Ecuador make the jungle crayons Gracias sells.  Cesar and Rocio live with their two teenage children (Javier and Joanna) who are attending university and have a workshop in their house with 2 workers. Cesar says “it is nice that my kids are studying.” Cesar enjoys selling his products internationally to those who value the products and intricacy of the work.

Cesar and Rocio transform sustainable balsa wood into hand-carved animal-shaped crayons, each depicting animals of the rainforest.

The balsa wood they receive in its original form is damp so that they can easily cut it into the desired shape. Once that is done, they dry the wood for up to one week in strong sunlight, sand it, use a machine to burn thin dark lines into the wood, and finally paint the wood with Colombian paint. For the crayons and pens, they drill a hole into the wood and insert the wax that comes from Perú or pen ink.  






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