Amazing Advances In Fair trade in Colombia
By Ronald Ringsrud (website)
Fedesmeraldas, is the organization which represents the emerald
miners, brokers and exporters in Colombia. Fedesmeraldas has for years
devoted a small percentage of emerald export money to improving the
mining region by supporting activities that benefit local and indigenous
people, as well as respecting the environment. Although the region is
lush, verdant and semi-tropical, there is unemployment and a lack of
services. The sewing machines and co-op created last April in the town
of Muzo have affected three dozen ladies and their families and has been
in operation for a year now.
Colombian gem cutter Gustavo
Castelblanco was the winner of "The Gemology on Line Project" gem
cutting contest. 15 designers from many countries entered with facet
designs. Mr. Caltelblanco was the only South American to enter the
contest. Details of this award-winning faceting can be seen here.
Besides the clothing co-op, the emerald organization has created
for the locals farms for luffa, chocolate and oranges. A school in the
town of Muzo has been opened and in Maripi a clinic has been expanded.
After the excellent emerald showing at this year's Oscars
ceremony in Hollywood, emeralds have appeared in the news again; this
time in the Wall Street Journal (article link).
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