Holiday Sales Schedule 2017

Posted on October 24, 2017 by Kevin Ward | 0 comments

All the dates and times for Gracias to be in your Chicago-area neighborhood in 2017!

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Calendar Updates and Ecuador News

Posted on June 04, 2016 by Susanne Donoghue | 0 comments

After traveling nearly around the world since January, Vincent and I are about to relocate to Ecuador until October, 2016. Check out the dates we have confirmed on the calendar of events. We also see some great summer buys in the catalog--be sure to check those out, too. Our list of fair trade visits includes Salay Handmade Paper in the Philippines, Maximus in Sri Lanka, Women's Highland Coop also in the Philippines. We have learned a lot about handmade paper, including the ever-popular elephant poo products. Before we travel to Ecuador, we plan to visit Artesanias Loreto in Cochabamba, Bolivia, to visit and talk to the alpaca knitters who provide us with these luxurious winter items. We are more convinced than ever that fair trade is one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty. See everyone in October back in the Chicago area.

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Adieu, lovely Mt. Prospect. Elmhurst here we come!

Posted on December 02, 2015 by Susanne Donoghue | 0 comments

Thank you St. Raymond de Penafort Parish for the best weekend of sales we've ever had! You were stellar, and your hospitality is unmatched. We have to order more fair trade chocolate, bath soaps and creches now, and all the artisans will be so happy for the new orders that will result from this sale.

You can find the olive wood nativities here on this website if you missed out on them last weekend. This is vital income for the families who have learned woodcarving from their parents and now carry on this centuries-old tradition in spite of political and economic instability in the region. 

Thanks so much for your support. We're getting ready to visit Immaculate Conception Parish in Elmhurst next Sunday, December 6 (see calendar for specifics). We'll be one of many fair trade vendors there in Plunkett Hall, so look for us--we'll be the ones with the beautiful alpaca scarves, ponchos and mittens, so soft you won't want to put them down. 

The following weekend, December 12 and 13, we'll be in Downers' Grove at St. Mary of Gostyn Parish for the last sale of our season. We're so excited by the superb reception we've had wherever we've gone this year, and thrilled that you, our customers, are so committed to trading fairly and helping people out of poverty. Bless you all and happy holidays (Chanukah, Christmas, New Year's, Epiphany and Kwanzaa)!

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November 28 and 29 in Mt. Prospect

Posted on November 25, 2015 by Susanne Donoghue | 0 comments

Come see us at St. Raymond de Penafort Church in Mt. Prospect this weekend, both Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Our baby alpaca scarves are the greatest--and they help Bolivian artisans feed their families. By the way, the wool doesn't come from the babies--it's the soft underfur, incredibly warm, of these adorable adult animals related to llamas, vicuñas and yes, camels! They get sheared in spring, just like sheep do. Their eyelashes really are that long! Here's a picture of some of the scarves and ponchos we have, too. Just handwash in cold water with Woolite and flat dry.

Sorry, these are not available through our online store--but contact us and we will try to accommodate your

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70: Best Birthday of All

Posted on September 18, 2015 by Kevin Ward | 0 comments

Turning 70 has probably never been better than it was for me this year. Vincent arranged through AirBnB for a weekend in Cotacachi, the leather-working center of Ecuador.

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