Tulia's Giving Fund
The best way to help Colombia's Wounaan is to buy their fair trade products. Fair Trade means the artisans have already been paid a fair living wage for their work.
Additionally, Tulia’s Giving Fund gives back 20% of each basket sale and 5% of all other sales to the Maach Den Foundation in Colombia through CAF America, our US fiscal sponsor who vets international charities. All donations are 501c3 tax deductible. The Maach Den Foundation, is dedicated to preserving cultural knowledge and traditions for the next generation.
Their projects include artisan workshops, preserving traditional medicines - especially in midwifery, and providing emergency medical supplies to remote villages.
Who are the Wounaan?
The Wounaan are the people indigenous to the rainforests of the Pacific coast of Colombia and Panama. In Colombia, about 9,000 are at risk of cultural extinction due to forced internal displacement.
Forced to Leave Home
Wounaan live under constant threat by illegal armed groups still active in the Colombian Pacific coast. Colombia has the largest displacement situation in the world with nearly 8 million internally displaced citizens. Indigenous and Afro-Colombians are disproportionally affected by this displacement. Over a third of Colombia's indigenous groups are at risk of cultural extinction due to displacement and human rights abuses.
Despite these challenges, the Wounaan are master artisans. The men are expert wood carvers and the women are known for their basketry, recognized as among the most beautiful in the world. Their signature fiber is the new shoots of the Chunga Palm Tree. When dry, the fiber has a brilliant & smooth shine. They are the artisans behind our collections of woven jewelry, bangle bracelets, children's bracelets, palm seed rings, and home decor folk art.
Take a Deeper Dive
For more information about displacement in Colombia and the Wounaan, check out these story boards created for our art exhibit "Wounaan Folk Art: Preserving an Indigenous Colombian Tradition".