Sunday, March 24, 2013

A Very Happy Fair Trade Easter

Easter is one of my favorite holidays.  In my mind it is up there with Thanksgiving an Christmas.  And I have very special memories of Easter from my childhood.  Growing up in an ethnically Slovak (as in the Czech Republic and Slovakia) Catholic community my family and I would have our Easter baskets blessed by the parish priest on the Saturday before Easter, which is known as Holy Saturday in my faith tradition.  As most of us do as young children, I assumed everyone who celebrated Easter had their baskets blessed.  I was in my 20s before I learned from other Catholic friends that they do not have their baskets blessed on Holy Saturday.  I was shocked! I asked around and it seemed we were alone in this tradition until I asked my dear friend who was born and raised as a Catholic in Poland.  She too had her baskets blessed and still does.  It seems this tradition is an Eastern European one, or perhaps other ethnic groups do it as well? (If you celebrate this tradition, please let me know.) So now my family and I join her at a local Polish church each year and have our baskets blessed. But there are two new additions to this tradition for me: one, the church we attend only offers the service in Polish, I don't speak the language but I understand the concept and two, now my chocolate bunnies and candies are fair trade and this year they were purchased locally from independent purveyors (Ocean Beach People's Coop & Open Door Books in Pacific Beach).

May you have a very Happy Easter and may it be filled with love, happiness and fair trade treats!


Friday, March 8, 2013

International Women's Day

Today, March 8th, is International Women's Day.  This is a day to inspire women and to celebrate them as well.  In college I minored in Women's Studies and wrote my undergraduate thesis on the valuable role that women play in the Catholic Church.  Perhaps it goes without saying that I am a definite supporter of the rights of women.  As it turns out I am a definite supporter of the rights of all people, but I am especially proud of being a woman and seeing the accomplishments that other women have and continue to achieve. 

It's no surprise to me that the fair trade movement fits into International Women's Day as well.  Fair trade is imbued with protections for the traditionally under-protected, the poor in general and women and children in particular fall in this category.  Gender equity is one of the ten principles of fair trade and is stated as follows:

   Gender equity: Fair Trade means that women’s work is properly valued and rewarded. Women are always paid for their contribution to the production process and are empowered in their organizations. (

So today, on International Women's Day take a moment and celebrate the women in your life and celebrate the achievements of the fair trade movement too for its success in protecting so many women in the developing world.

Have a wonderful day,