Joyeria y Mochilas

Conservation is not just about saving a species, although, that is often at the basis of my research. Natural resource users (ie the people living in the landscape) are often most affected by conservation initiatives, which can be good or bad for their livelihoods. In order to combat some of the negative impacts western organizations can have on local communities, ProAves - the organization I am working with this summer - has developed a “Women for Wildlife” campaign, where they source jewelry from local Colombian women. This campaign is used to empower women and provide them with a source of income and economic standing aside from tending to the household (which in Colombia, usually means watching over many generations). As a desire to help these women sell their products, I ventured to their homes to photograph their goods.
* We would like to create a sustainable long term plan for selling these goods, but as I am only here for 5 weeks this was what seemed most reasonable to me for now. 

The road up to the top of the mountain, where I am living this summer, is speckled with homes popping out of dense forest, mostly in the form of café fincas (coffee farms). Local Colombian families of 4 or more usually squeeze into 2 open air rooms, where a kitchen is located in another building or off to the side- also generally open air. The local women in the region sell coffee, mochilas (traditional Colombian bags – everyone wears one, including the men) and jewelry. 

Ok FRIENDS! Here is what I ask of you. Below are some pictures of Mochilas, necklaces, bracelets etc. All of these are made in Colombia by local Colombian women, using recycled materials OR natural materials. If you would like to purchase one of these items please let me know. Since I will need to transport these items back from Colombia and then ship them, I am asking for a $3 processing fee for the shipments ($3 USD will be added to each item).

It’s never too early to start thinking of Christmas gifts (as my mother taught me) for your mothers, girlfriends, wives, sisters, children, nieces, etc! While most of these are geared toward women, remember mochilas are for men too! If you see something you like but not in the color, chances are it’s here and I just didn’t photograph it. Or if you trust my opinion enough, let me know what you like, and I will pick out something for you :) 


The Tagua seed is a large seed that is used by local women to create the jewelery you see here. It is cut, polished and died and made into beautiful jewelry. Most items from El Dorado Reserve are made of Tagua.

Other seeds used are Acai, like the Acai berry which is so trendy in nutrition these days.

I have listed the prices in COP (colombian pesos) and USD dollars. You can pay me through Venmo, Paypal, or Wells Fargo SurePay ( I have limited space in my bags so earlier requests will fare better.

** Some prices I have forgotten, so if interested in a item, please inquire and I will let you know how much it costs!

Dona Maria and Dona Sofia, makers and sellers of many of these products


COP 7,000, USD $ 2.50
COP 12,000: USD $4 (/bag)

USD $15-40 depending on size and fabric

Various types of Mochilas range COP 

COP 60,000- 70,000, USD $20 -30 (depending on size)

COP 60,000: USD $20

COP big (60,000) USD $20, small (40,000): USD $15

Kiddie Mochilas! COP (20-40,000 need to inquire)

COP big 60,000 small 40,000 USD $15-20

Recycled plastic bags USD $15-$25

Close up of more mochilas


Parrot beaded necklace
Acai seed necklace (red one available at El Dorado)

Parrot bracelets

Earrings made from Tagua and beads

Below is from the El Dorado reserve and all prices are only listed in USD:
Bracelets range from $12- $25


Necklaces range from $15- $40

Tagua rings $15

More earrings available upon request, top right is the Tagua seed

Acai semillas and tagua necklaces


Jewelry case


Scarf and hat

Goras for winter!

One more of Dona Maria and Dona Sofia, I love this one :) 


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