Is it possible to help lift a village out of poverty through commerce? The woman who started Manos Zapotecas believes so. It started with Shelley Tennyson who, while volunteering with a group of indigenous women in the ancient rural village of Teotitlan del Valle near Oaxaca, Mexico, became aware that the rich weaving traditions of this village were hampered by a lack of markets and buyers. Poverty was forcing many weavers to abandon their craft. She decided that the best way to help these people, and also preserve the weaving traditions, was to create new markets in the US.
Our mission is to make these exquisite, high quality, handcrafted rugs, tapestries, and bags available to socially conscious buyers across the country. Manos Zapotecas is committed to making sure the weavers receive a fair trade price for their intensive labors. By connecting these artisans with new markets, we can all help to perpetuate the superb artistry of the Zapotec people, and at the same time help to improve their lives and their community, one weaving at a time.