On Wednesday, March 22, students from the Bush School of Government and Public Service hosted the International Artisan Market and Cultural Exchange as part of their capstone project. The event showcased shoes created by indigenous Zapotec women artisans from Oaxaca, Mexico.
The group of over 150 artisans is known as the DAVA Artisan Design, which create handmade shoes and accessories, emulating ancestral history and using techniques passed on from one generation to the next.
“This year we partnered with DAVA artisan design who are a group of Zapotec indigenous artisan shoemakers out of San Dionisio, Ocotepec, in Oaxaca, Mexico, and the idea with the Global Engagement grant is to transform poverty to prosperity by capitalizing on social innovation and social entrepreneurship,” Jaclyn McJunkin, Bush School Master of Public Service and Administration student and capstone member, said about the capstone project. “So indigenous individuals with these talents can partner with us and we can bridge the market between the United States and Mexico.”
DAVA Artisan Design’s goal is “to share the cultural richness of Oaxaca through fair trade.” In the process of creating these fine goods, the women are able to promote environmentally friendly production systems, provide economic opportunities for their communities, and keep a unique part of their heritage alive.
By Alexis Hixson