Pagina Siete reports:
THEIR CREATIONS WILL BE DISTRIBUTED ABROAD BY “BULGARI”
700 young goldsmiths launch Gala, their own brand of jewelry
Teens of La Paz, Oruro, Potosi and Santa Cruz are trained by skilled craftsmen. With support from Save the Children, aimed at export.
At 16, Santa Cruz born, Nicole Illanes divides her time between school and her craft goldsmith that “lets her create and earn a little money.” She is one of 700 young people trained by Save the Children, which launched its own brand of jewels: Gala, which is included in the catalog of the prestigious international business “Bulgari”.
“20 of us started and have slowly been leaving, you need patience, but when you grab is very cute to design your own jewelry,” explains Bryan Salvatierra, orureño 18, who wants to study commercial engineering to boost his trade. “I am already Goldsmith and I’ll always be.”
A United Nations study shows that between 10 to 30 years of age, 80% of our population is entrepreneurial, but not have the means to develop their ideas. So, Augusto Costas, director of development of the NGO Save the Children explains the genesis of the Gala brand.
“What Save the Children has done is to put the momentum and entrepreneurship training to youth, first, bringing experienced goldsmiths to teach them,” said Costas. Thus productive youth project that began in 1999 was reinforced with experts.
“We had very good teachers and very patient. They help you and correct you. They help you grow.” Says the Santa Cruz Samuel Barba, 17, happy to participate in his second fair. The first one was in his city, two weeks ago.
After training 700 young people, between 16 and 24 years in the cities of La Paz, Santa Cruz, Oruro and Potosi, the project jumped to project internationally. “About four years ago we approached and we managed courting the famous international jewelry, perfumes and watches’ Bulgari company” -says Costas- They, in their corporate responsibility unit, believed in our proposal to work with teens and young goldsmiths from Bolivia and included their jewelry in its catalog.”
“Working in silver is different from doing so in gold,” said Janeth Chambi, president of the Youth Goldsmiths Association from Oruro. This 21 year old is studying civil engineering, “but what I really love is designing and making my jewelry for that I can not believe that they purchase them,” she says.
The Santa Cruz Amilcar Patzi prefers to carve the stones: “I like to give forms, polish them until they shine with light …” explains the 21 year old student.
Young goldsmiths have specialties: there are those who work jewelry for cholas [women from the highlands of Bolivia] (including earrings and topos); others specialize in holiday designs or play with alternative designs. Now all their jewelry will be distributed inside and outside the country under the brand Gala.
“Gala is a sign that there is a contingent of youths who have the energy, will and talent,” concludes the executive of Save the Children.
Gold and silver
Products. Gala jewels are made of silver and gold with innovative designs.
Sales. Sold at fairs and orders are taken in Santa Cruz, La Paz, Oruro and Potosi.
Auction. In two weeks the auction of the jewels of the Gala brand in the city of La Paz was made.
Contacts. La Paz, phone 73249227; Oruro, 79427378; Potosí, 7004583, and Santa Cruz, 75508194. [if calling from abroad, use 591 and then the number]
Kudos to those teens and also to Save the Children and Bulgari, this is the way! I welcome these young, promising goldsmiths to The Hall of Bolivian Fame!