Large Clear Glass Angel Hand-Blown by Artisans in Guatemala
Small Blue Glass Angel Hand-Blown by Artisans in Guatemala
The Recycled Glass Cooperative of COPAVIC, was founded in 1976 by a few former employees of an Italian-run recycled glass factory in the village of Cantel, near the city of Quetzaltenango in Guatemala. The founding members applied for a loan, purchased land and constructed the heavy-duty kiln that was needed to melt glass; one of the vital processes required to produce glassware and began production. Today, with the help of their efforts, talents, and resources there are over 30 member artisans/owners of COPAVIC. A master - apprenticeship system is followed which allows newer members to learn the craft under a skilled artisan and join the cooperative.
COPAVIC is an example of a workplace free of exploitation and where the artisans benefit directly from their work. The organization also follows a strong social mandate, and in addition to earning a living wage, the artisans receive other basic facilities such as health-care and life insurance. They have also devised ways to give back to their community through community services like producing electricity, implementing a drainage system in the area to help improve health conditions, and providing the raw material used to pave roads. All the artisans are part owners of the cooperative and hold equal shares of any profit generated from sales at COPAVIC. The profit-sharing provides an incentive for the artisans and helps them continue in their work of creating excellent pieces of art and to serve their cooperative.
One of the most interesting aspects of COPAVIC is that, the organization uses the tremendous heat produced in this intensive glass-blowing process to generate electricity for the local community thus bringing the entire process to the best use possible.
The cooperative is committed to protecting their environment by transforming and recycling glass into beautiful hand-blown items. Glass from soda, beer and other beverage bottles collected from community businesses and along roadsides is sorted by color, crushed, washed, melted, and shaped to produce a variety of glass items including vases, tableware, sculptures, ornaments, and other household items. The crafts produced by COPAVIC are a representation of creativity, beauty, and high-quality.
These hand-blown glass angels are the perfect way to celebrate the holidays in a sustainable and recycled manner and make a great gift for environmentally conscious family and friends.
Each beautiful angel is hand-blown by artisans from COPAVIC's glass blowing cooperative in Guatemala. COPAVIC trains people in the skills necessary for recycling and hand-blowing glass, thus providing the local community with employment and opportunities for income generation. In addition to the use of recycled materials, the energy released during the high intensity glass melting process is used to produce electricity for the community.