Women’s Co-Op

Jewelry Cooperative

In 2008, the government organization of CONANP supplied El Barril with training on how to make jewelry using shells, as well as the tools necessary to make these goods. The Baja Project has supported this group mainly in sourcing materials and assisting in training for those and other artisan goods, such as purses made from recycled materials or lamp shades and other items made of wood.

Although the group has now divided into two, both groups are active and now involve both female and male community members. Each group has a workshop equipped with solar panels to power their polishing and cutting machines and drills, and sells goods in the nearby city of Guerrero Negro and locally. While the cooperatives are largely self-sufficient, the Baja Project hopes to provide support through business workshops, helping with marketing and catalogs, identifying new markets, and perhaps in safety training and providing protective materials for the community members.

Sewing Cooperative

In 2005, 19 women of El Barril began a sewing cooperative where they produced and sold clothing locally. In order to be able to sell more products outside of El Barril, the group sold food and received government and Baja Project support to buy more sewing machines and expand into a newer facility.

Unfortunately, the number of sewing cooperative members has dwindled and the group is currently inactive due to familial obligations. There are plans to reopen the doors to the new facility soon, hopefully re-opening a microfinance opportunity for Baja Project and the women of El Barril.