Mexico "Bags to Business" Project

Mexico “Bags to Business” Project

Our family has had the pleasure of living in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, for the past year. Passionate about the people and culture of this country, we fell in love with the open-hearted people of Aguaje el Zapote: their handmade tortillas, freshly-caught fish, & most importantly, their eagerness to grow & improve. Your generosity will provide them the teachings to master their crochet skills (for bag and hammock-making) as well as cover the initial expenses associated with building their bag/purse/hammock business.


Aguaje el Zapote is a 360-person village located 15 minutes from Puerto Escondido. This is a low-income community, where most men work in construction or fishing. Women work together in the home: cooking, raising children, and taking care of elders. It’s common for multi-generations of one family to live under the same roof.

Carmen's family have been making hammocks for five generations in the Zapoteca region. Now, a resident of Puerto, she and her daughter, Fabi, have been spending weekends in Aguaje, teaching their skills to the community. Their expertise & enthusiasm are what make this project possible! Men, women, and children from the village have joined these learning circles every weekend since May - they are now masters at purse-making and have even made 4 hammocks!

We need your support to ensure the continued success of this project. Currently, there is a local mercadito and a store who are willing to sell the products in Puerto Escondido (so exciting!). With your help, the people can thrive in this new business venture & generate regular income for their families.

Your donation will cover the costs of:

• The local teachers, Fabiola & Carmen
• The learning materials: needles, large spool, acrylic thread, etc.
• The purse materials (cotton thread, lining, zippers)
• A small business fund to continue making more products


As a thank you for your support, the people of Aguaje are busy making one-of-a-kind cotton crochet purses for you! These purses are handmade with love (4 days of work), 100% cotton, lined, with zipper-closure, and can be machine-washed. Each purse is one-of-a-kind. They are each a different size & there are a limited amount available.  Each donation of $50 or more, will receive a hand-made purse (we will try to give you the colour of your choice, black or white). Once your donation is complete, we will contact you for your delivery details .

Thank you for your support! You are impacting lives & providing opportunity for future generations to come.

On behalf of the Aguaje el Zapote community:


Big Love,
Allison & Arjan

These one-of-a-kind, hand-made purses are each a unique work of art. Plus, the style is simple & timeless! (There are many different sizes...this is an example of one size)

Music by Mixaund

Donations (0)

  • Janine Van Rensburg 
    • $50 
    • 3 mos
  • Danielle Krueger  
    • $40 
    • 3 mos
  • Jane Muddiman 
    • $100 
    • 3 mos
  • Carolanne Inglis-McQuay 
    • $40 
    • 3 mos
  • Clarinda Brandao 
    • $25 
    • 3 mos


Arjan Haak 
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