Located on the shores of Lake Atitlan in San Marcos La Laguna, a group of 50 artisans work together to create hand-crocheted items that make stunning fair trade gifts. In addition to the hacky sacks, the artisans of San Marcos crochet MayaWorks’ kippot, or yarmulkes, used by men and women of the Jewish faith. The talented artisans of San Marcos also crochet the Mary Janes and baby beanies of our Florecita Baby line. In recent years the women from this group started a community thread shop where they purchase thread at wholesale cost and sell to people in the community. This project began with funds from a MayaWorks grant. Since then several artisans have applied for MayaWorks microcredit loans to use for other small business ventures. As part of MayaWorks commitment to education, these artisans have also started a 3-year literacy program. They will take classes for 8 hours a week to improve Spanish reading and writing proficiency. It is our goal that 85% of MayaWorks artisans will attain sixth grade reading proficiency by 2015.