|Dignity and Justice
Through Fair Trade
|Dignity and Justice Through Fair TradeSustaining Cultures is a non-profit educational and charitable organization located in Taos, New Mexico, USA. Our goals are to increase awareness and contribute to the persistence of unique cultures around the world with a particular focus on the cultures of indigenous peoples in North, Central, and South America.
A world where diverse indigenous cultures and races of people live peacefully with respect and understanding for each other
Sustaining Cultures will raise awareness of traditional and indigenous peoples, while supporting culturally appropriate means of increasing living standards that honor peaceful lives with dignity through:
Sustaining Cultures accomplishes its mission through three primary mechanisms:
1. A fair trade based effort to market products produced by indigenous peoples or traditional cultures in ways that provide the most economic benefit to producers or artisans;
2. Educational programs and information aimed at increasing the awareness and appreciation of indigenous peoples and their cultures by non-indigenous populations
3. Assistance to indigenous or traditional cultural groups or local governments for the purposes of community development and capacity building
Programs & Activities
Sustaining Cultures offers a range of cultural products and educational services to the public while seeking support and donations from individuals and philanthropic organizations. Sustaining Cultures adheres to “fair trade” principles ( www.fairtradefederation.org ) in all of its operations working directly with local artisans wherever possible and paying a livable wage for indigenous peoples who are often exploited by the capitalist system and live in poverty.
Educational materials consist of written and graphic displays associated with each of the targeted indigenous cultures including information about individual artisans and producers. Sustaining Cultures also hosts artisans and producers from various cultures who provide first hand demonstration of their skills and discuss their peoples and cultures in public forums.
Using the mechanism of the market and fair trade principles, Sustaining Cultures helps to make it feasible for people to choose to live and work in their traditional cultural homeland. The provision of artwork and cultural materials to interested buyers along with educational materials about the people and cultures of their origin can increase awareness of these unique cultures.
Sustaining Cultures will place net proceeds from its operations into a capital fund for making grants to communities of the indigenous peoples whose products are marketed by Sustaining Culture. Grants will be made annually or semi-annually to support several community projects The Sustaining Culture Board of Directors in accordance with perceived and expressed needs of the indigenous communities develops grant purposes and selection criteria. It will be the goal of Sustaining Cultures to allow the grantees to use funds for their identified needs but generally in the areas of health care, sustainability , education, and capacity building. We also provide fitness and well-being education to members of our community.
PROGRAMS & ACTIVITIES
P.O. Box 3298
Taos, NM 87571