Did you know that women in the developing world invest 90 cents on every dollar back into health, nutrition, and education for their families. Leading economists say that empowering women may well be the highest return investment available for improving life in the developing world. Not to mention...it's good for women.

In the indigenous communities of Guatemala, 2 out of 3 children go to bed hungry every night - the highest rate of malnutrition in the Western hemisphere and fourth highest in the world.

Mercado Global is doing something about this cycle of poverty by reaching the women who can change it. They are providing business education and leadership programs to allow women to become successful business owners, doing what they do best - and what no one else in the world can do - which is to weave their own particular magic threads.

These women carry in their hands and imaginations the ancient skill of the back-strap loom. They are weaving, as they have always done, colorful story-rich clothing for themselves and their families. But now they are weaving also the shape of hope: beautiful, chic, fun bags for you and yours.

ibu is crazy about the tassels, the zippers, compartments, everything so thoughtfully conceived. And, well, great-looking to bout. We sold out before posting anything - just because our Sales Manager, Marisa, had to have one and took it about. People began to beg. I love the education of Mirabella and Tomasa and all of the mothers who are rising into their own best lives. And whose children are going to bed fed and hopeful. That’s a story I want to carry on my arm.

All the best,
Susan Hull Walker