The cooperative was motivated to protect the environment around them and create jobs that would earn them a living wage, provide them with health insurance, and support their families.
In the small village of Cantel, Guatemala, just outside of Quetzaltenango, you will find the Recycled Glass Cooperative consisting of 36 talented glass artisans today. This group also known as COPAVIC was founded in 1976. The cooperative was the idea of fifteen artisans who had formerly worked together and saw the opportunity to transform recycled glass into beautiful glassware. They started out with a small loan to purchase basic equipment. The cooperative was motivated to protect the environment around them and create jobs that would earn them a living wage, provide them with health insurance, and support their families.
Recycled beverage bottles and broken glass pieces are skillfully melted down, tinted, and then handblown to create a variety of sustainable glassware pieces such as pitchers, tumblers, vases, cocktail glasses, and other household items. A set of six glasses from our collection takes about two hours to make from the moment the glass is blown and requires a complete day of resting on sand to cool off. This process has taken years of training to perfect. The cooperative has spent a lot of time studying the craft and put their skills to use with great care, dedication, and attention to detail. A lot of practice has gone into crafting each piece.
Four decades later the glass artisans are able to continue to build their workshop and provide living wages, education, and training for glassblowers and their families, and contribute to ecological sustainability.