Sustainably Chic

Handcrafted Accessories for Education

FashionNatalie Kay

Alicia San Marcos

With over 50% of Guatemalans living in poverty, Alicia San Marcos is dedicated to the education of children within the underserved communities of Guatemala. Today, they have donated over 32,000 school supplies to orphanages and schools with the proceeds from their gorgeously handcrafted accessories, which are all ethically produced by Indigenous artisans using Mayan traditions from hundreds of years ago. 

Alicia San Marcos was inspired by a Guatemalan lady, Alicia, who believed strongly in the importance of education. At a young age, she had to withdraw from school because of the cost. Alicia did not want this for her own children. As an adult, she took a dangerous journey through Mexico to live in the US so her children could have the education she never had the opportunity to experience. This influenced Nicole Bakva in creating Alicia San Marcos in order to help break the cycle of poverty and send all Guatemalan children to school. Nicole learned of the hardships within developing countries while traveling, and saw how many artisans were living in poverty while producing quality accessories. She wanted to bridge the gap between their world and ours, and bring the beautiful creations to first world consumers. Several months of planning and research, Alicia San Marcos was born with a commitment to education and tradition.

10% of proceeds are donated to nonprofit, Niños de Guatemala. NDG provides school supplies and education to the children who need it most. They also provide two balanced meals a day while in school helping combat their high malnutrition rate. NDG also hosts sociologists and psychologists for at-risk students, parents and those who have suffered issues such as sexual abuse. Alicia San Marcos believes in paying fair wages and supporting slow fashion. Therefore, they employ indigenous artisans who create bags from recycled blouses. The blouse, or huipil, takes several weeks to hand weave, and each have a unique design telling a story of its region. This makes for exclusive one-of-a-kind textile bags. I have absolutely fallen in love with my Weekend Tote. The quality and craftsmanship are out of this world, and I know I will have this with me for the rest of my life. Extremely spacious, this bag is great for travel, and comes with top handles and a removable strap. It is going to be the perfect personal item for my trip overseas to visit the family next month. Who knows.. maybe I will convert a few new customers on the plane ;)

Want to rock a stunning piece by Alicia San Marcos & give back to some great causes at the same time? Shop online and use code SustainablyChic for 10% off your order!

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