We are so grateful to Angela Mercedes Bailon for taking the time to visit Vermont. Hearing her story was truly inspiring. It reminded us of what fair trade is all about: the producers, the farmers, the artisans.
She visited the Lake Champlain Waldorf School, spoke to classes at St. Michael’s College and Champlain College. She participated in a Fair Trade Cafe and Marketplace at St. Michael’s College, gave a presentation at the Peace & Justice Center and at Ten Thousand Villages. It is safe to say that each person she met was touched by her story of hope.
Angela is a founding member of UPAVIM, (United for a Better Life), a fair trade artisan cooperative that was started to provide income and services to a struggling neighborhood in Guatemala City. The neighborhood, called Esparanza, (Hope), began as a slum with houses made of cardboard boxes. Thanks to UPAVIM, they now have a health clinic, day care, elementary school, bakery and artisan craft center. They stand as a powerful example of how fair trade can transform communities and fight poverty.
Fair Trade Cafe & Marketplace, St. Michael’s College: