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Earth Island Reports

Viva Sierra Gorda

Put a Roof on It

Women from the rural highlands of Mexico need a new roof – and you can help. For the last five years, 31 women of La Colgada, a small community that hugs the steep slopes of the Eastern Sierra Madre, have been working as a cooperative to sell their handiwork in embroidery. Ranging in age from 18 to 85, these women are setting an example for a growing number of cottage industries in the Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve; in 2008, they were recognized by Avon for their entrepreneurial initiative. In 2010, their craftsmanship caught the eye of a major Spanish department store, El Corte Inglés, which ordered more than a thousand pieces, an order they are rushing to fill. They need your support to thrive: You can help by donating to Viva Sierra Gorda to repair their workshop. This holiday season, make a difference and order handmade original designs by these artisans at


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