Engaged citizens all over the world celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, a day which for over 100 years has recognized women’s achievements and the challenges they face every day.
Luxury Gold Cares, in partnership with non-profit The TreadRight Foundation, highlights the power of impactful tourism on local communities. Through a small grants program for artisan enterprises, the TreadRight Heritage Initiative works to empower women doing heritage-based work. This program helps foster a more promising future for the artisans, their families, and their communities, and puts the spotlight on the amazing women who continue to uplift their communities through culture and art.
In joining select transformative journeys with Luxury Gold, travellers have the opportunity to meet and interact with these inspirational women and learn more about their daily lives and artistic efforts.
“Through our TreadRight Foundation, Luxury Gold guests can personally visit our women’s Heritage Initiative projects, which promote economic empowerment while preserving local traditions for future generations,” said Ulla Hefel Böhler, global CEO of Luxury Gold and Insight Vacations. “International Women’s Day is a compelling time to bring greater awareness about the power of impactful tourism, and to highlight the tireless and artistic efforts of these local women.”
According to the Luxury Gold and TreadRight partner Artisan Alliance, the artisan sector is the second-largest employer in the developing world after agriculture, worth over $32 billion per year. Hundreds of thousands of people across the globe, particularly women, participate in the artisan sector. Artisan activity creates jobs, increases local incomes, and preserves ancient cultural traditions that in many places are at risk of being lost. The tourism industry is particularly well-positioned to help artisan initiatives and convert these into sustainable opportunities.
Here are the projects supported by Luxury Gold Cares and TreadRight, and the itineraries guests can join which allow them to learn about these projects:
Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez’s Heritage Benefits Education: Guests can meet with Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez in Peru on the 12-day ‘Treasures of the Incas’luxury escorted journey. Armed with the knowledge that the traditional ways of life in Chinchero were being lost with each new generation, Nilda decided to take steps to preserve her cultural heritage, while also providing employment to the people of her region. An indigenous Quechua weaver, Nilda founded the Centro de Textiles Tradicionales del Cusco and through traditional weaving has reinvigorated her community with income being used for education, housing and medical care. Guests have the opportunity to purchase beautifully woven items made by local women, and bring them back as meaningful gifts to their loved ones.
Marta Cucchia Keeps Perugia’s Weaving Tradition Alive: Guests can travel to Perugia, Italy to meet with Marta Cucchia on the 21-day ‘La Serenissima’ itinerary. Marta runs the Laboratorio Giuditta Brozzetti, a workshop and school dedicated to the production of artistic textiles, founded and named after her great-grandmother. In the almost 100 years since its creation, the workshop has been teaching the art of hand-weaving on antique wooden looms, a rich part of the region’s heritage that has been passed down from mother to daughter. Marta now teaches the Perugia-style of weaving to ensure that a centuries-old tradition will remain prosperous in her community. Guests can purchase these gorgeous Renaissance style woven items to support the women’s collective during their visit.
Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot School Focuses on Indigenous Women Artists: While in Toronto on the 19-day ‘Trans-Canadian Grandeur’ journey, guests can venture on their own to the Bata Shoe Museum, home of the Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot School. Here female elders and women artisans from the community teach the traditional art of mukluk and moccasin-making during weekly sessions. This not-for-profit program offers a once-in-a-lifetime cross-cultural exchange for guests, while sustaining indigenous crafts and providing indigenous women with a platform to showcase their culture on the global marketplace.
Rajasthani Women Building Their Communities on a ME to WE Culturally Immersive Experience: In partnership with ME to WE, Luxury Gold offers guests looking for a truly immersive and meaningful experience the 16-day ‘ Imperial Rajasthan with ME to WE Experience.’ On this trip guests can participate in WE Village India projects taking place in the Udaipur and Rajsamand Districts, in the northern desert state of Rajasthan. During the 4-day itinerary, guests have the chance to walk side-by-side with powerhouse women as they collect water, care for livestock, and cook for their families before participating in projects to help enhance their community like building schools, enabling mobile health clinics, and agricultural training. Since 2008, WE Villages have organized women’s groups which offer financial literacy training and provide communities with income-generating opportunities through animal husbandry.
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