This year I had to opportunity to do some special travel – Greece. The blue surrounding me and Dan in this picture almost captures the brilliance of the blue sky and sea as we hiked on a couple of islands after a visit with Dan’s cousins in Athens. But the joy of such travel cannot help but be touched by the global reality of others who do not travel by choice: refugees. Yes, Greece struggles with welcoming travelers from other countries who are desperate to find safety and economic security. And though news coverage of those at our own borders is erratic, the crisis continues with families making difficult decisions to leave home in hopes of a more secure future.
Fair Trade is one strategy for people and communities that struggle to sustain themselves. By offering a fair wage and often times new skills, communities find hope for their future. This past year I have volunteered with Yabal, a fair trade business in Guatemala which empowers women in indigenous communities by finding markets for their handwoven textiles. As always, I am inspired by their creativity and commitment. It’s just one of many fair trade businesses that benefits from having an umbrella organization like Chicago Fair Trade that can spread the word throughout the region about fair trade. And this organization must be sustained if it is to continue to amplify the voices of artisans and producers around the world.
Please join me in reflecting on your own travels of the last year …and then make a donation to Chicago Fair Trade, with the hope that you might actually help those most vulnerable to stay at home.