Home > Giving -- Embera Bead Project

At PotomacBeads, we don't believe in charity for the sake of charity.
We are committed to help indigenous peoples permanently improve their lives.


The Embera Katio People
Medellin, Colombia



The Embera Katio people hail from the Choco region of Colombia. They have fled their villages because of violence from armed groups and are living as internally displaced peoples in the city of Medellin, Colombia. The Embera Katio speak very little Spanish, the primary language of Medellin. The majority of the thousands of uprooted Katios have a very difficult time surviving in the big city without a common language and little education.








Many Embera Katio have been making ends meet by begging in the streets and, at times, selling their handmade beaded jewelry. The Embera Bead Project was formed to help families to get jobs and education for the Embera people in Medellin.

The Embera people are extremely creative and make beautiful beadwork. These indigenous people create their beaded artwork in their small homes and in the streets. Each day they work to sell their beaded jewelry to tourists, and the families are so excited to be making daily money to pay for their food and shelter. They need to make at least 15m pesos (US$4.28) per day to pay for their rented room in the slums. Any money earned above the 15m pesos goes towards food, clothing, medicine or diapers - things that are daily basic necessities, but what the Embera consider a luxury.

"The sale of One pair of earrings can pay for their daily rent and food for a large family."

We can help in many ways! The sale of one pair of earrings can pay for their daily rent and food for a large family. The sale of two pairs of earrings can sustain them for 3 days! The Embera Bead project is helping these families meet their daily needs. They meet weekly and share food, make earrings and sell together in the downtown streets. At PotomacBeads, we are sending shipments of free bead supplies (Miyuki Delicas and seed beads specifically) to the Embera peoples and a portion of all PotomacBeads sales will be used to help the Embera.


HOW YOU CAN HELP

Do you have extra bead supplies? Colors you no longer use? Beads you don't have a plan for?

--->>> The Embera people can recycle and re-use ALL of it! <<<---

Send your extra beads to:

Embera Bead Project
C/O PotomacBeads
53 West Washington Street
Hagerstown, MD 21740



Be sure to include your name and contact information, and thank you for helping PotomacBeads to make a difference!