During the year, I came across these items that stood out to me, ones I think would be of interest to you. They are in no particular order but are sure to spice up your Navidad, no matter what kind of budget you have.
Best thing is, many of these items below are the products from non-profits benefiting Mexico or that give back in some capacity, but all celebrate the Mexican culture. If you know of a non-profit that produces a product that gives back or proceeds Mexico somehow and you would like to recommend, por favor email me.
*** We will also be publishing a Holiday Wish List for non-profits in Mexico, coming soon. ***
The MEXICO Report’s 2nd Annual Navidad Gift Guide:
1. Mil Gracias cards from Fresh Words Market: What a better way to give thanks and appreciation in style while giving back? This new line of modern art collection are designs fit for the contemporary adult and positive messaging to inspire a child. For every item sold, Fresh Words Market donates 20% of its proceeds to women and children focused on initiatives around the world. With their motto of ‘great art coupled with the passion to help those in need will indeed help to change the world,’ this is a win-win! http://www.freshwordsmarket.com/
2. Angelita ornament from Casa Q Ornaments: Created by the talented entrepreneur Darlene Tores, Casa Q is a Hispanic lifestyle company, dedicated to providing unique products, services and content geared toward people who embrace the Latino culture. This 4″ glass ornament includes gift box and legend card. Other ornaments to note in her collection, perfect for your Navidad are ‘Our Lady of Guadalupe’, ‘Rudolfo’, ‘Sancho Snowman’ and more. http://www.casaqornaments.com/
3. Heirloom Bean Sampler by Rancho Gordo: Beans are a healthy “superfood” that add protein and fiber to your family’s diet and are one of the most economical sources of protein available. Written up in multiple magazines, entrepreneur Steve Sando’s Heirloom varieties require minimal soaking and less cooking time because they are fresher than commercial varieties, have more flavor, better texture and are just plain beautiful. We tried and we like! http://www.ranchogordo.com
4. Loteria Tie by Gregorio Ties: Lotería images have become iconic in Mexican culture. Founded by William Lopez, after his late father, this unique tie collection celebrates the rich vibrant spirit of Latino culture with a unique handmade one-of-a-kind 100% premium silk scarves and neckties, featuring designs that carry over the exquisite colors and images of the Latino culture more often observed through art, architectural styles and pottery. http://www.gregorioties.com
5. Tamale-making Kit by Mex Grocer: Everything you need to know to become an expert tamale-maker is in this gift pack. In this festive kit, not only will you get authentic corn husks, tamales masa mix, a can of Salsa Verde with tomatillos and a bag of dry chile peppers, but you’ll receive a 16 qt tamale steamer good for making up to 7 dozen tamales. Unless you have your nana’s recipe, you can print out a copy of the authentic recipe provided by Maseca to make the real tamales. There are many ways for making these different tasting tamales, and the fillings range from savory vegetarian, bean, beef, pork, chicken and seafood versions to sweet, fruit-filled desserts.
6. Mexico CD or Download by Putumayo: World music at it’s best. We’ve owned several of these music collections and ones for our kids and I cannot say enough good things about this company. Putumayo’s commitment to helping communities in the countries where the music originates has led to contributions of more than one million dollars to worthwhile non-profit organizations around the world. The company continues to develop creative ways to present exciting, underexposed global music and engaging cultural products. And in this CD or digital download, you can savor the spicy and romantic flavors of Mexican music, from the sones of Veracruz to the boleros of Oaxaca.
7. Handmade necklace by The Peace Boutique: Always a favorite, these items, The Peace Boutique donates 100% of profits to a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, PEACE Mexico. PEACE (Protection, Education, Animals, Culture, and Environment) works hand in hand with communities in Mexico to provide holistic education combined with community action programs that enable people to improve their quality of life as well as their financial stability. http://www.thepeaceboutique.com/
8. 2012 Children of The Refugio Cookbook: This unique cookbook is a collection of recipes from restaurants, as well as community members. All profits from the sale of this publication will benefit The Refugio Infantil Santa Esperanza (RISE) and the Vallarta Botanical Gardens in Puerto Vallarta. More info, click here.
9. Education Donation to Corazon de Vida; an organization near and dear to us, Corazón de Vida is a US-based nonprofit organization supporting Baja orphanages. It provides children in dire need the necessities of shelter, food, clothing, education, and healthcare – as well as hope, compassion and love. CDV not only financially supports orphanages in Baja, but also provides assistance through frequent cross-border visits by board members, staff, and volunteers. http://www.corazondevida.org/
10. Buy a computer for a classroom through One Town at a Time: Founded and directed by experienced Mexico traveler and visionary David Simmonds, this organization helps provide the tools for villages to sustain a sense of family and community structure, and cultivate pride in their way of life. A primary benefit of introducing computers into the primary school classroom is that students start learning how to use a computer at an early age and about various aspects of the technological world, allowing them to become comfortable with more advanced computer related concepts as they get older. No donation is too small here and every dollar helps!
11. Travelers Bag – Diego Boneta Gear “Imagina Un Mundo sin Hambre” Travelers Bag for Feed the Hungry by Mariposa. Feed the Hungry San Miguel de Allende offers unique gifts which directly benefit the non-profit organization. Visit their store here.
12.Passport holder – by Mariposas San Miguel. Pasaporte, the perfect size for passport, itinerary, money, easy to tuck in under clothing. Butterflies symbolize change and transformation, and these colorful products are handmade by Mexican women from villages around San Miguel de Allende, mostly single mothers. Their work at Mariposas San Miguel provides them with better living conditions, education and support for themselves and their families. Visit Mariposas San Miguel store here.
For a list of how to give back or to get involved with a non-profit or voluntourism in Mexico, please see our Non-profits in Mexico list. We are constantly updating and growing our list of non-profits that give back to communities throughout Mexico. You can do wonders this holiday season by supporting one of these organizations. If you have recommendations on other products that give back to Mexico, please add them in the ‘comment’s section.
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Mil gracias…and Happy Holidays to you, your family and your loved ones.