A Purchase with Purpose

Hunting & Gathering

Photos courtesy of Maco Made.

Along the hodgepodge streets of Gulf Gate there lies a cultural hidden gem, Maco Made in Colombia Co., where CEO Diana Ramirez sells a lively, eclectic collection of hand-crafted Colombian goods. Each artisanal good purchased promotes Colombian culture and ancestral craftsmanship traditions dedicated to sustainability, using production methods that aim to reduce poverty and the environmental impacts of mass-produced fashion. From bags, hats and jewelry to a wide assortment of decorative baskets, vases and planters, Ramirez personally imports these handmade Latin luxuries to improve Colombian artisans’ livelihood by extending their reach from across the globe.

Maco Made's procured home decor livens up a room with vibrancy, pops of color, intricate weaving and Colombian flair. In particular, the Werregue line of baskets come handwoven by the Wounaan indigenous community from Choco, on the outskirts of Bogota, in a biodiverse rainforest region. Using Werregue palm, an exclusive fiber only found in the Colombian Pacific, these fibers are then dyed with natural juices of fruits and Aloe Vera, resulting in an organic product produced in an eco-friendly way. The natural dyes create an intricate geometric pattern using deep reds, oranges, greens and black that, in many pieces, represent daily life scenes of the Wounaan people.

Through many visits to the South American country, Ramirez shares that the Wounaan people are sadly at risk of extinction due to internal displacement and violence by the armed conflict of the country. Human Rights reports suggest that hundreds of Wounaan families were forcibly displaced between 2016 and 2017 alone, due to fights between paramilitary groups trying to gain control of the region. But, Maco Made’s initiative continues to support and improve the economic conditions of such Wounaan families. "Through the commercialization of these baskets, hundreds of families have been able to provide for their families and established school for the Wounaan children where they preserve their native language and their ancestral traditions," says Ramirez. "The weaving tradition is passed on from generations of women." 

You can support these regions by purchasing their artful goods here, or in-store at Maco Made in Colombia Co., 6585 Gateway Ave., Sarasota. You can also browse and shop more pieces on Instagram, @macomadeincolombia.

Photos courtesy of Maco Made.

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