Through Hiptipico’s Backpacks that Give Back program, children of the company’s artisans are able to attend an international preparatory school. Ten percent of every backpack purchased through Hiptipico.com goes to this scholarship program.
The idea behind the program is to help the artisans’ children receive a high-quality education that embraces their local culture but balances that with modern skills, including English-language proficiency and computer skills.
“By the time they have reached adolescence, these Mayan children are trilingual, speaking perfect English, Spanish and their Mayan dialect and can use an internet café with ease,” McGarry said. “That means the children can set up an Etsy page or maintain an Ebay account effortlessly for their parents. With initial help from Hiptipico, we can create paths for our artisans to be self-sufficient in the global ethical fashion marketplace.”
Hiptipico hopes to be able to expand its scholarship program in the future and send additional students to the international school.
“Hiptipico’s scholarship recipient, Jonathan, is already showing great results. Speaking Kaqchikel at home, Spanish with his new friends and English in the classroom, Jonathan has been able to become trilingual at only 5 years old,” McGarry said. “It is important that all of Hiptipico’s scholarship recipients maintain their culture and remain a part of their community while gaining new skills to help them escape poverty in the near future."
Use the hashtag #backpacksthatgiveback on social media sites to show your support.