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Yucatán and W. K. Kellogg Foundation program brings artisans up to date

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More than 100 artisans and entrepreneurs from the south and east of Yucatán will be trained to learn new design, innovation, and technology trends. 

Artisan’s traditional crafts will be impulsed with the support of the foundation. Photo: Courtesy

Through the Yucatán Institute of Entrepreneurs (IYEM), the Michigan-based W.K. Kellogg Foundation has joined the project Ko’one’ex Kaxtic Ma’alob Kuxtal, which means “Let’s seek a better quality of life” in Mayan, with a US$149,953 grant.

Artisans and entrepreneurs will be trained for 18 months. Discussions on human rights, gender perspective, and leadership are included.

The project will work with artisan groups from different communities. Photo: Courtesy

IYEM Director Antonio González Blanco indicated that they will work in municipalities such as Chankom, Chikindzonot, Tekom, Tixcacalcupul, and Yaxcabá. The end goal is to enable individual empowerment and strengthen cultural identity.

“New skills will be added to the artisans’ techniques without supplanting them to add value and create opportunities for growth in new markets, rescuing the application of ancestral artisan techniques, thus caring for the historical, tangible, and intangible heritage of our Maya culture,” said González Blanco. 

The program will focus on improving the production of traditional pieces, as well as modern, up-to-date crafts. Photo: Courtesy

The state official added that this preparation and linkage will provide artisans with visibility in digital and traditional channels at a local and regional level.

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has been working with communities in Latin America and the Caribbean since the Second World War. The COVID-19 pandemic has widely affected artisans, especially in rural communities, as limited access to tourists and consumers.

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