Donor Spotlight: Victor Morales

Guys, this rocks. No really, it’s a blog post about rocks! Well, kinda…

Victor Morales

Victor Morales in front of his jewelry gallery, MAYA

We are so happy to announce a new partnership with Victor Morales, owner of the jewelry gallery known as MAYA. Victor recently moved MAYA to Cincinnati after many successful years in Boston working with handmade jewelry by Native American, Mayan, and Mexican artists. Now he’s decided to donate a portion of his proceeds to CoEd! During the month of November a portion of all sales at MAYA will be set aside for CoEd—with the goal of raising $10,000 for children in Guatemala! The gallery is located on Ludlow Avenue in Clifton, right across from the Esquire Theatre. So stop by MAYA (or shop online) and take a look at the unique pieces offered there. It’s the perfect opportunity to buy a special holiday gift that will also help students in need!

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Some of our oh-so-cute Culture of Reading Program (CORP) students

How to help these oh-so-cute Culture of Reading Program (CORP) students? Buy jewelry at MAYA.

Handicrafts are extremely important to the culture and peoples of Guatemala. But for Victor, a native Mayan from the Guatemalan town of Santa Cruz del Quiche, working with handmade goods is more than an expression of his cultural heritage; it’s the continuation of his family’s legacy. In the 1960’s Victor’s grandfather Benito established a hat makers’ cooperative to bring the work of his town to a whole new market. Now MAYA does for jewelry what Benito’s co-op did for hats: it allows Victor to share the work of skilled Navajo, Zuni, Mayan, and Mexican artists with people around the world.

a Navajo pendant for sale at MAYA

A Navajo pendant for sale at MAYA

In many ways, Victor sees himself as a testament to CoEd’s mission. Neither his grandfather nor his father had the opportunity to go to school, so they struggled to learn Spanish and learn to read and write. As a result, Victor says, “my father would not give us cows or a piece of land” like other people in the village, but “instead helped us to get a degree.” Now a business owner with an MBA, Victor credits his success to his father’s choice to prioritize education. When he moved to Cincinnati, he began looking for a nonprofit organization that would help him give back to his home country, and he was especially gratified to find one that will help other Guatemalans break the cycle of poverty through education, just like he did!

We’re excited that Victor found us too, and feel so honored that he’s chosen to help Guatemalan students through CoEd! If you’re in Clifton, swing by MAYA to see the selection of beautiful jewelry, meet Victor, and check out the CoEd display there. Or if in-store isn’t your thing, head over to the MAYA website instead. Every purchase made in November will help CoEd students! And remember: Y’all rock! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.)

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MAYA location

MAYA: 323 Ludlow Ave, Cincinnati OH, 45220

 

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