While the first paddle court has not yet been built in Guatemala, the spirit of the paddle community is being spread to its people. My husband, 3 kids and I have spent 5 of the last 7 Thanksgivings working with 2 non-profit organizations in Guatemala; Common Hope and De La Gente (Of the People). Seeing a need for light weight paddle mitts, I struct on the idea that this could help an artisan in Guatemala get ahead while warming the hands of paddle players.
We met Elvia, the artisan in 2007 on our first family trip to Guatemala. She was making purses and selling them at the local markets but was looking for more opportunities to help her family make ends meet. Elvia continues to be skeptical about the need for only one mitt. But, After making over 1000 mitts in 5 years, she has stopped asking questions. Besides paying Elvia for her craftsmanship, 100% of the proceeds are sent to De La Gente to further other local entrepreneurs. To date, over $9,500 has been sent to Guatemala from paddle mitt sales. De La Gente focuses on economic development and environmentally sustainable agriculture in Guatemala. Partnering with producers from impoverished Guatemalan communities, they select families based on their potential to produce marketable products. This year’s mitts, in 1 ply fleece and lightweight cotton, will be available in black, pink, polka-dot, and cheetah to individuals and pro-shops.
Email Mary at Mhdoten@gmail.com with any orders and spread some paddle goodwill while keeping those hands warm
–Owner, Mary Doten