Day 130

A new volunteer and ramping up for Friday

As we’ve slightly mentioned, World Fair Trade Day is this coming Saturday across the globe. So a lot of organizations around the world are holding events and activities tied to this to celebrate. WFTO organizes the marketing and brands each year with a theme, so this year’s theme is innovation.

With that theme, Susana thought it would be a great time to unveil the QR code project. So this Friday, (as Saturday will be tough for those from the Ministry of Culture to attend), we are going to host an event at the Regional Museum of Araucanía to show everyone the video and QR code project (and what I’ve been dedicating most of my time to while I’ve been here).

The past two weeks have been a lot of prepping for the event. All of the videos are complete and up on the website (thanks for coaching me through the editing, Steph!) and the tags have been printed.

Another exciting addition this week is we have a new volunteer from France that started on Monday. He’s going to be helping with a lot of efforts in the store, and helping to prep for their Fair Trade Festival in November. Since he started on a Monday (which we’ve now started to make a “communal lunch” day), we decided to make empanadas!

Vivi made homemade “masa” or dough, and Susana made all the fillings. We had beef/onion, chicken/spinach, and cheese fillings, and oh were they delicious. We started an assembly line of steps for prepping the empanadas. It’s been fun these past few Mondays because Yasmin also wants to learn some of the more traditional ways to make homemade breads and dough, so we’re all in the same boat of trying to soak in all the information every time that Vivi cooks.

We made an atrocious amount (over 40 empanadas). They may have been the best empanadas we’ve had since being in Chile. A great start to the week.

Another exciting thing is that all of the newly printed tags have officially arrived and are ready to be replaced on all the products in the store! I printed some sheets of the artisan-specific QR codes on adhesive paper, so the appropriate QR code can be put on each tag. For any of those artisans that don’t have a video yet, we’ll drive people to a general video that shows all the types artists that the Foundation works with.

We spent alllll day swapping these out, and I’d say we’re about halfway done? Haha. Lots of work. We fill out each tag with the artisan, community, dyes, and working days. Nick and I started to get a process down, which made it go quickly.

It was really cool to see the progress though. I’ve never done a product tag before and gotten to see it completely transform the way that the store is going to interact with their customers. I’m hoping it can strengthen their brand for everyone that comes in the store.

We met the director of the Museum today as well, who asked to learn more about our QR code project. He explained that he’s trying to digitize the experience for those coming to the museum by using bluetooth and interactions with their phones based on where they are in the museum. He thought this would go nicely with the digital nature of the videos and tags. Everyone is getting #digital.

We had a lot of visitors in the store today, and Nick was able to explain the QR codes to a few of them. There was a group of English speakers that thought it was really cool (and ended up buying some scarves and rugs) and two students watched the video of Don Jose and ended up buying some earrings! (Probably for Mother’s Day, but still a success!) I’m excited to see how everything will be received Friday from a larger audience!

Wanna see how it works?

Here’s a virtual example. Pretend you picked a nice piece that had this tag. Just open your camera application, and it should prompt you to visit a page, and you just click the notification:

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