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Miracles in Action provides income to many Guatemalan women by selling beaded jewelry, keychains, and textiles — all handmade in indigenous Mayan communities where jobs are scarce and wages low. The sale of handicrafts provides the Mayan women an opportunity to earn an income from their home while taking care of their children. If not for the handicraft industry, these women would need to work hard labor in the fields picking coffee, sugar cane or corn for 12 hour shifts away from home.

In addition to online sales, Miracles in Action volunteers sell the beaded items in the U.S., and the profits then keep paying forward -- going back to the charity to fund humanitarian projects in Guatemala. Our beaders and the poorest in their communities benefit by this charitable work - distribution of water filters, vented-safe stoves, chickens and pigs, scholarships, and food baskets - going well beyond the initial fair trade to see life's basic needs provided.

We keep our non-profit mission in mind as we support this industry with our purchases, wanting to provide sustainable development in these communities. The items we select for sale in the U.S. are very unique and sometimes we help in the design of new pieces. Online, art and craft shows, and private parties -- our volunteers work tirelessly to spread our message and help support this cottage industry through sales.

And when giving a gift of a Guatemalan handicraft, you will be giving a gift that gives twice — once to the intended recipient and also to the women who are earning an income from your purchase.

To learn more about Miracles in Action, visit our parent site at www.MiraclesInAction.org.