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KIDS and FAIR TRADE: A Teacher’s and Parent’s Guide
Using the Maya Arts and Crafts of Guatemala/Artes y Artesanías Mayas de Guatemala Coloring Book

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Introductory Notes to Teachers and Parents

The teacher’s guide and coloring book are designed as tools and resources to help children:

  • gain an awareness about handmade Maya traditional arts and crafts, their meaning, importance and how they relate to Fair Trade
  • understand the meaning of  "handmade" as contrasted with "factory made"
  • learn how buying Fair Trade items helps the artisan producers to earn a living wage
  • learn about the history and principles of Fair Trade

In schools, the guide and coloring book can be used as part of a social studies segment on Latin America or in World Cultures classes.

The social justice dimension of the guide makes it appropriate for a Sunday school class. Parents can use the guide to supplement schoolwork with home schooling or in still more informal ways according to their discretion.

Arts and crafts from Guatemala and many other countries are increasingly available from Fair Trade sources in retail stores or on the internet. Fairly Traded coffee, bananas, and chocolate are now sold in supermarkets and other outlets more frequently than even a few short years ago.

More and more people understand that we can make the world a better place by buying Fairly Traded items (and union made items as well)! More and more people also understand that buying and selling through enormous retail "super stores" furthers social inequalities and injustice.

Although this guide concentrates on various aspects of Fair Trade and Maya arts and crafts, we hope that you also will investigate other dimensions of Fair Trade, including coffee and chocolate, by going to some of the web sites listed on the Links page or by visiting the Fair Trade Federation website. Many teachers may also want use these resources to go further and help children understand about allied organizations, including cooperatives, NGO’S, unions, issues of child labor and sweatshop production.

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