Green Festival Speakers

Evangelina Pizarro Saiac


Upon leaving her village in the Andes at age 17 in search of a better life, Evangelina Pizarro found a job in a jewelry factory in Lima and worked nearly 80 hours a week (earning only $115 a month). She was raising two children alone and was locked in the factory each day until the managers decided it was okay for the workers to go home. Evangelina had no choice when she could leave to care for her children or when she would get paid which was often not for 6 months at a time.

After seven monotonous years in the factory, Evangelina decided that she deserved better. She convinced several other workers to break off and form their own business. Their first attempt failed and most of them ended up back in factory jobs. But shortly thereafter, Evangelina heard about a Fair Trade project in Peru and went to see if she could be involved. Evangelina and her colleagues formed Munay Rumi and after a year spent working on design and improving the samples theyd originally showed, they produced their first jewelry items for export.