WE ARE IBU IN ACTION:
With the help of the Ibu Foundation, the Wayuu community came together to build a sustainable and naturally sourced workspace for the artisans that will also serve as a community center for the children.
During the pandemic, the Foundation provided emergency relief support for medical and food assistance.
El Dorado Art works with twelve different artisan groups - seven of which are indigenous communities - and over 400 women. The cooperative was started by discovering a magnificent piece of work - a leather hammock that a head chief of a community was making to help subsidize their income. From there founders Juan Pablo Gomez Angel and Juan Sebastián Rivera Bustos have grown El Dorado Art to be a powerhouse of luxury handicrafts that creates jewelry, apparel, and textiles.
The Wayuu community is just one of the indigenous groups that make up El Dorado Art. They are fantastic knitters and are most known for their hammocks and mochilas. The Juans shared the daily feats of the Wayuu artisans with the Ibu Foundation and expressed that there is an urgency to create a proper and traditional space for the women to meet to share knowledge and teach techniques amongst themselves and work with each other like they traditionally do. They also needed a place to take cover from the intense sunlight during the day, but also a place with electricity so they could continue to work in the evenings and not strain their eyes. After hearing about this need, an Ibu ally couple found it in their hearts to sponsor the entire project and fund the building of a Wayuu workspace. The space was built by hand by every member of the community and has been named “Sain Kai” which in Wayuunaiki translates to “the place where the sun rises” which is a perfect reflection of the light this space brings to the community.