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Hilo Sagrado: Empowering Latin American Women

Written by Megan Marshall


Posted on June 23 2022

Hilo Sagrado: Empowering Latin American Women

Hilo Sagrado (meaning Sacred Thread in Spanish) is a brand offering much more than beautifully crafted products. Now, you can purchase handmade bags and accessories that look good and do good.

Hilo Sagrado works with native women artisans from Latin America to create handmade products that represent their local culture. Through education, economic empowerment, and sustainable development, these artisans become self-sustainable, take ownership of their work, and escape extreme poverty.

About the Brand

The brand focuses on four key components to redefine the artisanal concept and to create greater social good:

  • Design
  • Empowerment
  • Technology
  • Impact

Hilo Sagrado (sacred thread) employs a model of inclusive development that is mindful of the rich cultural legacy of artisan communities in Latin America and strives to empower women with the tools they need to improve their quality of life. With the help of education, economic empowerment, and sustainable development, Hilo Sagrado's efforts help Wayuu women become self-sustainable with the means to become entrepreneurs and take charge of their own lives.

Meet the Makers

The indigenous Wayuú community lies deep in the Guajira desert, between the Venezuelan and Colombian borders. The tribe arrived in 150 A.D. and currently occupies 4,170 square miles of desert with more than 295,000 residents in the Venezuelan region and 144,000 in the Colombian territory. The families live in racherías (huts made from cactus and palm leaves) with basic furniture, wood stoves, and walls made from mud, hay, or fried cane.

The Wayúú is a matriarchal society in which the woman rules the household while the man works the land. In each of the ten communities spread throughout the region is a community leader who is a well-connected decision-maker descended from previous leaders. 

Women from these communities make the incredible products distributed by Hilo Sagrado, such as the gorgeous, one-of-a-kind Wayuu bags.

Hilo Sagrado's Go With The Flow Campaign

By purchasing Wayuu Bags from Hilo Sagrado, you will support their "Glow with the Flow" Campaign.

This project aims to provide a workshop to the women of the Wayúu community to teach them how to sew and make menstrual underwear. To Wayúu women, menstrual products are a luxury, given that they're far outside of their budget and often challenging to obtain due to their remote location.

Instead of tampons and pads, many local women must make do with inferior bits of fabric and often avoid being outside when menstruating to hide their stained clothes. Beyond merely leaving friends and family behind, this isolation also means they must stop working, hindering any source of income.

Hilo Sagrado's "Go With The Flow" Campaign will increase women's ability to make their own sustainable and safe menstrual products while increasing their income. It will also reduce the environmental impact associated with disposable sanitary pads.

However, the brand recognizes that finding period products is not a unique problem for the Wayuu community. They hope to use this campaign as a first step in eventually bringing access to girls and women across the globe.

Wayuu Bags & Good Cycle Store

Check out three Wayuu bags currently available on the Good Cycle Store:

The rich cultural heritage of the Wayuu weaves carefully into each handcrafted bag. These one-thread Wayuu bags are hand-crocheted using traditional techniques passed down through generations. They can take over a month to complete, resulting in not just a bag but a reflection of sacred traditions and values.

Get yours today and support an incredible campaign fighting to empower women in Latin America and across the globe.


Author: Megan Marshall