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Impoverished Bolivian Children Thrive Thanks To beyondBeanie Business Adventure


In today's world, we're consistantly bombarded with news about big businesses with unethical practices that steal and rob from the world community. Many businesses are accused of propelling world poverty, making it worse and worse for those who are already impoverished.

Thanks to beyondBeanie, this isn't one of those stories.


The Creation

After backpacking through Bolivia, Hector Alvarez recognized a drastic need. He saw women and children living in destitute poverty in a country where two-thirds of the population lives under the poverty line. He also saw the rich culture and vibrant fashion that Bolivian society created.

Partnering with his Bolivian friend, Paty Lucero, Alvarez created a company that plans to change the world: beyondBeanie.


The Premise

The premise of beyondBeanie is revolutionary in scale. Every time a beanie is purchased, the money from the sale provides five meals for a orphan child in Bolivia. Each handbag sold gives one set of school supplies to a child who would otherwise lack those educational tools. With each bracelet sale, one child can have a dental exam. One poncho equals one school uniform.

Each product is inspired by traditional Bolivian ethnic culture. In fact, these products are made by Bolivian artisan women from La Paz and Cochabama who would otherwise not have access to a job that pays them so well. Each item is hand-crafted by the members of the communities that the money helps.

The company narrows its focus to two main goals. First, “to create meaningful work for female artisans in a place that recognizes and respects them.” Second, “to provide meals, school supplies, and school uniforms to impoverished children.” With these two ambitions at the epicenter of their business, Alvarez and Lucero are literally changing the world.


The Founders

Alvarez has used his multicultural background (Swiss-Chilean with a U.S. undergraduate degree and master’s degree from Switzerland) to launch beyondBeanie across the globe in order to combat global poverty. Lucero, a Bolivian architect and international activist for social change, launched the creative side of the business as a means to change the lives of impoverished people in her own country. The co-founders have received international awards for their service to the global community. They spoke at TEDx Zurich and continue to speak at universities throughout the world.


How You Can Help

If you’re interested in helping the situations of people living in poverty throughout the world, register to be a beyondBeanie representative. Or, simply buy a beanie and know that your purchase goes to a phenomenal global cause. Visit www.beyondBeanie.org for more information, or visit their blog for powerful impact stories.

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Tom Malone is the Editor-In-Chief of The Adventure Tribune and author of adventure novels, like Across Americana. He is based in Denver, Colorado, where he adventures through the Rocky Mountains while not traveling abroad.
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