Artisan Coop. La Semilla de Dios
The cooperative La Semilla de Dios, meaning “The Seed of God,” is located in the town of La Palma in the department of Chalatenango. La Semilla de Dios consists of artisans of limited economic resources who make a variety of wooden items painted in the famous La Palma folk art style. Men do the carpentry, and women the hand-painting and finishing. The cooperative owns a piece of land in the mountains outside town, where they plant and sustainably harvest trees to supply about 40 percent of their wood needs. The traditional cooperative structure of La Semilla de Dios puts power and profits in the hands of the group’s employees. Cooperative income provides better nutrition and educational opportunities for artisans’ children. La Semilla de Dios also runs a savings plan from which members can borrow, and has instituted a retirement fund. Ten Thousand Villages has purchased products from La Semilla de Dios since 1994.