Early this year I had the opportunity to do my favorite work of all: humanitarian photography. This time around I partnered with Fashion & Compassion, a South Carolina based non-profit whose main goal is to connect communities with beauty and dignity. They do this through providing short term employment opportunities near their home base and indirectly through long term partnerships with businesses around the world who treat their employs with fair wages and respect. I first found F&C while on a home-building trip in Tijuana, and I’m so happy I did. The ladies behind this non-profit have the biggest southern hearts and welcomed me on their recent trip to Mexico as one of their own.
We met at the airport in Mexico City, all flying in from different corners of the states. A 2 hour bus ride and 1 hour car ride later, we had arrived at the home of their business partner outside of Cuernavaca, Mexico. It was a lot of fun staying for a week on the property and seeing the artisans who would arrive near dawn every morning to begin their work making jewelry. We got to know them (as much as our broken spanish would allow!) and learned a lot about the process that the pieces F&C orders have to go through in order to be made. Each piece is touched for hours by the hands of several different artisans, and they take nearly all day to complete. I was amazed by how hard the artisans worked and how happy they were to have employment that they enjoyed. The village they live in doesn’t have a large job market, so F&C’s large and consistent orders helped create jobs that kept individuals in the village. This means that families can stay together and children could grow up in healthy family groups. If you’ve never heard of Fashion & Compassion, I encourage you to head to their website and learn more about them! Or just hang around here, because I hope this is just the start of a long relationship with them myself.