How do we problem solve?
The purpose in structuring ourselves to contribute 20% of our net proceeds to social and environmental projects in the community where our products are made is two fold, ethical & efficient. Companies that focus on people, planet, and profit respect all resources that go into making a product and do not shift opaque social and environmental costs onto society; it is the responsible thing to do.
By taking control of projects we can positively impact our community more rapidly, with more accountability, and less capital waste in administrative and bureaucratic processes than a typical philanthropic model. Our focus on San Pedro and adjacent communities is committing to the people and land that have enabled us to create our products; by concentrating our efforts and utilizing local resources there is a multiplier effect in the productivity of our philanthropy.
We intend to invest in as many projects as possible to have the biggest impact on the safety, health, education, and wellbeing of our beautiful little spot in the world.
Stories of the artisans that hand make every Bolso product. We are focused on providing stable, well-paid, job opportunities that allow our artisans to increase their technical capabilities in a positive environment. We are beginning an apprentice program being offered to high school seniors as a way of building a skilled trade along with digital training and continuing education to amplify their skill set.
Our first environmental project is focused on the component most afflicting the health of Lake Atitlan, storm run-off. We received permission from the city to begin our pilot, where we began with one of dozens of run-offs in the town, setting up a series of nets that will capture trash of all sizes. San Pedro being situated on the side of a volcano all the street waste runs into the lake through these run-offs. Our estimate is that we can capture close to 100,000 pounds of garbage a year once completely implemented.
Our first social program is focused on providing life long skills training to locals free of charge. The two subjects we identified with that dynamic were language skills and financial literacy. Up to 60% of locals do not speak Spanish, if forced to find work elsewhere they face a serious challenge to compete in the workforce. Interest rates in this region can reach as high as 50% a year. Explaining and providing options from global organizations focused on ethical financing carte blanche. We accomplish this through pairing commerce with philanthropy by establishing a free communal yoga platform on the lake. Donation based to sustain itself, and our program being taught from yoga instructors that utilize the space. The property has been leased, but rainy season has delayed the final construction by 3 months.