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Aug 12, 2011

50 women learn to make jewelry

Fifty Belize City women received two weeks training in jewelry-making as a part of a workshop carried out by the Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence in collaboration with the OAS and Institute of Mexico. The two week training prepared the women to use their skills to empower themselves. Esther Montalvo of the Institute of Mexico says that the jewelry is uniquely created and will be on sale shortly.

Esther Montalvo, Special Affairs Officer, Embassy of Mexico

Esther Montalvo

“In order to develop a workshop for fifty women only from Belize City and it was about creating their own handmade jewelry with local seeds. So right now they can have a sustainable business and the most important thing is that they acquired their knowledge from a Mexican artisan. So now they have their own knowledge and they put their own culture and characteristics in the hand-made jewelry.”

Sherlene Leslie

Sherlene Leslie, Workshop Participant

“This is my second time in this workshop but with this one I learned a lot and I appreciate what I learned this time because now I can go out and do more work than I used to do. So this is a very good training for us. And I think everyone else that was in the class learned very much.”

Andrea Polanco

“So I’m looking over at your displays and I see lovely pieces of jewelry and I know they are made actually of materials that you can find right around the home. Tell me some of the things that you have been using to make your chains, your earrings, your bracelets.”

Sherlene Leslie

“It is simply coconut shells, simple beads, Guanacaste seeds, shells, strings—things you can find right around your yard. So it’s right there in your yard and in your house.”

Andrea Polanco

“So you just need to find all these materials, put your creative side together and make your jewelry?”

Sherlene Leslie

“Yes, that’s it. Just find everything you can find, but them together and come up with an idea and there you good to go.”

Alice Williams

Alice Williams, Director of Programs, Samuel Haynes Institute

“Well it was very interesting idea because what we found out that the parents brought their children and the children got interested in doing the workshop so they were also a part of the workshop and that helps the parents and the child to bond a little more. And because it is an institute of excellence it caters to family and children. That is something that we highly encourage. We are trying really hard to get men involved into things like these. We notice that women are becoming the head of the household and we would like to see the men take up that position and get involved in a lot of different activities that are offered here.”

In the next two months a similar jewelry-making workshop will be held at the same venue.

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