Xapiri’s methodology is imbedded in the belief that all peoples should have the right to direct their own futures, and make decisions based on their own conception of well-being. Building upon autonomy and self-sufficiency is inherent in all that we do. That is why we focus on ethical fair trade with the artisans and communities that we work with.
As globalization continues, our world is more connected than ever. Contrary to the romanticized image of the indigenous as miles away from the modern world, indigenous communities negotiate on a daily basis their relationship to today’s realities. From smart phone technology to urban migration, indigenous communities are on the precipice of making decisions about the future trajectory of their lives, and the cultures which they steward. It is not about if or when these communities will enter the cash economy, but how.
Currently, the majority of economic opportunities available to these communities are imbedded in immense power imbalances, and based upon extraction and exploitation: gold mining, logging and urbanization. Their choices are limited: delay the entrance into the cash economy and uphold their cultural integrity and the social fabric of their way of life, or integrate themselves into a form of capitalism that is at its core in opposition to everything they hold dear.
Additionally, we value quality over quantity. We know the delicate balance involved in putting a price tag on a cultural tradition, and all artisans have complete control over what items they produce, how many they produce, and how fast (or slow) they produce them. They maintain complete autonomy over the creation of the items they make for Xapiri, and we honor that autonomy.
We aim to enrich the value of these artistic forms of expression, not commodify them.