The Madres Jewelry Collective was created in 2011 in Los Pinos del Eden, Dominican Republic, a rural mountain community near the Dominican-Haitian border. In a culture burdened by inequality and steeped in economic woe, women in poverty often have few resources to support themselves and their families. By paying fair wages in an area with little formal employment, our program empowers mothers to invest in their future and the future of their families. Madres employs both Dominican and Haitian women, building solidarity between two cultures that have endured centuries of mistrust stemming from colonial legacies and competition for scarce resources on an impoverished island. By providing sustainable incomes and opportunities for cross-cultural collaboration, Madres is fostering enduring change in Los Pinos.
Meet Ybanez, a Madres artisan:
Occupation: Jewelry Maker
Ybanez Perdomo, 31, grew up in Los Pinos del Eden, one of 8 siblings. She lives with her husband, Miguelito, and their four beautiful children, Leodel, 13, Rosmery,11, Sergio, 3, and Isamel, 2. Her husband is a member of the Dominican military, and leaves the family for 8 days at a time to serve at his post.
In addition to raising 4 kids, Ybanez is studying in Neiba to get her teaching degree, and once she finishes she hopes to work in the primary school in Los Pinos as a 4th or 5th grade teacher. She works everyday to be able to finish her education, and to raise her children to bring love to other peoples lives.