Improving the Quality of Life for Artisans from Rural Communities through Empowerment of Women

ideas4action@wharton.upenn.edu IdeaHub, Latin America, Women, Children & Education

During the period from 2012 to 2014, the number of poor increased in Mexico in the from 53.3 to 55.3 million, which represents an increase from 45.5 to 46.2 percent of the country’s population, according to the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL 2014). CONVEAL indicates many reasons that the number of people falling into poverty has risen:

  1. Lower revenues.
  2. Low economic growth.
  3. Population dynamics and inequality.
  4. Insufficient income to provide for basic needs

Further according to FONART (National Fund for the Development of Arts and Crafts) in Mexico there are more than 10 million people were employed in a craft or an activity related to a craft, although currently there is no national census that allows us to identify the exact number of artisans in Mexico by state. Most of the people engaged in artisanal activity in the first quarter of 2011 had low incomes that put the artisans below the poverty line. One of the main problems regarding Mexican crafts is the marketing process. According to Rafaela Luft Dávalos, few craftsmen export their products and there is a need to “promote a legal framework for the defense of handicrafts, mainly to combat piracy.”

The team proposed to create a development program that promotes community empowerment through projects that take advantage of the wealth of communities and enable them to integrate their social fabric, improve their income, and maintain harmony with the environment.

Our goals are to:

  1. Identify areas of opportunity in communities through ethnographic studies, field visits, and identification of community leaders.
  1. Work with community leaders in detecting needs and strengths of their group to be able to work toward the integration of a productive project.
  1. Design a plan of implementation where we elaborate technical feasibility studies, both marketing and financial, as well as advice on structuring the project for searching and management of public funding for a link with social investors.
  1. Support the marketing of products made by these groups, helping to connect them to national and international markets through our social platform, bringing them closer to potential market niches.

The program will empower rural communities in states like Yucatán, Guanajuato, Querétaro and Hidalgo. It can especially help women with microenterprise development and significantly improve the income of rural communities.


Team Tejiendo Comunidades
Juan Pedro Gómez Virgilio, Class 2012, Technical University of Queretaro
Ana Estefania Molina Arredondo, Class 2012, Technical University of Queretaro
Jesus Rodriguez Coreño, Class 2013, Technical University of Queretaro
Alejandra Ochoa García, Class 2019 Autonomous University of Queretaro
Estela Gomez Virgilio, Class 2010, Autonomous University of Queretaro