All Natural Materials
All of the materials used (with the exception of metal for parts of jewelry) are found within and around the village.
|round, flattened, very sturdy handbags|
The cord used in the handbags is made from separating palm fibers. The fibers are then twisted and joined to form up to 10 meters in length. Depending on the color natural dyes are add to the cord. Some of the dyes must be boiled from roots, some made from crushed leaves, and others are made from seed pods.
Any small brown beads used in the handbags are taken from seed pods. The seeds must be strung within one hour after removal from the pod. After the one hour time the seeds become dry and hard, and very difficult to pierce.
Fish scales and other plant parts may also be used in a bag's construction.
|slightly larger cylindrical handbags|
The red wood used for in the handcrafts comes from a tree called palo sangre or “bloodwood”. This is a very hard wood. I once tried to carve a figure from the wood using my pocket knife. After one hour of carving I only managed to remove a small corner of wood and almost cut off my finger. Now I leave the carving to them!
|Gustavo and Rosalba make handcrafts to sell to tourists.|
The majority of many of the villagers' income is dependent on handcraft sales and tourism. Depending on the item, it takes from one to three days to make.
How to help
If you would like to help us to help sell the handbags of La Libertad, please contact us at email@example.com. We are still exploring shipping arrangements and costs.
The prices range from $5 for a small cellphone-sized bag to $15 for a large handbag, plus shipping costs. Handbag may be custom ordered. All profits go directly to the people who make the crafts.