La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta Artisans trade mission during the Pan Am games in Toronto

The Pan American Games are expected to attract up to 250,000 visitors to Toronto and EQ Foundation is taking advantage of this opportunity to increase the sense of self-empowerment and pride in the symbolic and cultural importance of mochila making, a centuries-old art that is passed down from mother to daughter. In promoting the mochila to other regions of the world, the women’s visibility as important artisans will increase on the world stage. The primary direct beneficiaries of this activity will be at least 200 aboriginal women artisans in La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta region who will be led by a core of 15 women who are currently involved in Fundacion Wirakoku. The indirect impact is on 750 family members. The objective is to strengthen and increase export of Mochila Handbags to the Canadian Marketplace.