According to Artisan Alliance, the artisan sector is the second-largest employer in the developing world after agriculture, worth more than $32 billion every year. Hundreds of thousands of people across the globe – particularly women – participate in the artisan sector, and impacts are profound: it creates jobs, increases local incomes and preserves ancient cultural traditions that in many places are at risk of being lost.
The tourism industry is particularly well-positioned to help artisan initiatives and convert these into sustainable opportunities, and on International Women’s Day, Luxury Gold Cares – in partnership with its non-profit foundation, TreadRight – is highlighting how tourism can positively impact the local communities travellers visit across the globe.
Their Heritage Initiative Projects help provide economic empowerment for women and a promising future for their families, while also empowering the women who continue to lead their communities through culture and art.
Want to be part of a transformative journey? Here are a few Luxury Gold highlights that support women across the globe:
Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez’s Heritage Benefits Education
Guests can meet with Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez in Peru on the 12-day Treasures of the Incas luxury escorted journey. Armed with the knowledge that the traditional ways of life in Chinchero, Peru were being lost with each new generation, Nilda decided to take steps in order to maintain her cultural heritage while also providing employment to the people of her region. The indigenous Quechua weaver founded the Centro de Textiles del Cusco and through traditional weaving has reinvigorated her community with income being used for education, housing and medical care. Travellers will have the opportunity to purchase the women’s beautifully woven items and to bring them back as meaningful gifts to their loved ones.
Marta Cucchia Keeps Perugia Weaving Tradition Alive
Guests can travel to Perugia to meet with Marta Cucchia on the 21-day La Serenissima guided journey. Continuing the lineage of her foremothers, Marta runs Laboratoria Giuditta Brozzetti, a workshop and school dedicated to the production of artistic textiles, founded and named after her great-grandmother. In the almost 100 years since its creation, the workshop teaches the art of hand-weaving on antique wooden looms, a rich part of the region’s heritage that has been passed on from mother to daughter. Marta now teaches the Perugia-style of weaving to ensure that a centuries-old tradition will remain prosperous in her community. Guests can purchase woven items to support the women’s collective during their visit.
Manitobah Mukluks Focuses on Aboriginal Youth
While in Toronto on the 19-day Trans-Canadian Grandeur with Stampede and Via Rail Prestige journey, travellers can venture on their own to the Bata Shoe Museum where Manitobah Mukluks offers weekly sessions, led by female elders and artisans from the community, teaching the traditional art form of mukluk-making. This not-for-profit program looks to sustain Indigenous craft while offering a once-in-a-lifetime cross-cultural exchange to guests while providing these Indigenous women with a platform to showcase the culture of their people to the global marketplace.
Rajasthan Women Building Their Communities on a ME to WE Culturally Immersive Experience
Travellers looking for an immersive and meaningful experience can join the 16-day Imperial Rajasthan with Me to We Experience and participate in WE Village India projects taking place in the Udaipur and Rajsamand district in the northern desert state of Rajasthan. Despite women playing a vital role in the day-to-day running of a community, girls in India – specifically among tribal populations of Rajasthan – experience a great number of gender disparities that can be challenging to overcome. During the four-day ME to WE experience, guests have the chance to walk side-by-side with powerhouse women as they collect water, care for livestock, and cook for their families before participating in projects to help enhance their community like building schools, enabling mobile health clinics, and agricultural training. Since 2008, WE Villages have also organized women’s groups who receive livelihood and financial literacy training as well as provide communities with income-generating opportunities through animal husbandry.
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