Indigenous Empowerment NorthSouth Collaboration

Mama Tierra is a non-profit organization registered in Switzerland active in Colombia and Venezuela. Our organization empowers indigenous women by producing, distributing and researching about their crafts, aiming to support women’s financial independence. Furthermore, artisans working with Mama Tierra define during annual assemblies’ wages and which social programes the organization will pursue. Thus, Mama Tierra follows a bottom-up management strategy and goes one step further of what we understand sustainable fashion is. For Mama Tierra sustainable fashion is also about empowering people and covering their basic needs, such as housing, health care and nutrition.

Sustainability is at the heart of Mama Tierra's philosophy. Our engagement includes social, ecological and economic measures with which we work towards a fair and green future for the Indigenous peoples.
With our endeavours, we meet 6 out of 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals:

#1 no poverty

Mama Tierra empowers women living in extreme poverty through sustainable fashion. Having fair paid jobs either improving or learning craft techniques, women can escape poverty. We offer upfront payments, work materials and training courses to the women we work with.

#2 zero hunger

La Guajira area represents the highest index of malnutrition in Colombia. In Venezuela there are over 6 million people suffering from hunger daily. Mama Tierra invests in nutritional programs to fight hunger in La Guajira, using innovative technologies to overcome their food crisis.

#5 gender equality

The focus of Mama Tierra is on indigenous women because they ensure the weel-being of the family, securing an income and educating the children. The women is the strongest link in many indigenous societies, but this is particularly true in the Wayuu culture, as they have a matrilineal kinship structure.

#8 decent work and economic growth

Artisans working with Mama Tierra receive a stable monthly income, thereby achieving from financial independence. This allows women to work in their ancestral land, escaping modern slavery. Working from home allows artisans to look after their children, the elderly among them and their livestock.

#10 reduced inequalities

Wayuu indigenous are a minority group in Colombia and Venezuela being over-proportionally affected by poverty, child mortality and discrimination. By empowering indigenous women with sustainable fashion, Mama Tierra fights inequalities.

#12 responsible consumption and production

Mama Tierra uses sustainable materials such as recycled or GOTS certified cotton yarns. The yarn is shipped by sea instead of air. In addition, Mama Tierra uses a plant-based leather made of cactus rind and ananas leaves, which are partly biodegradable. This reduces plastic pollution in indigenous lands. 

Up to 200 indigenous women living in rural areas between Colombia and Venezuela.

Mama Tierra has chosen to work mostly with Wayuu indigenous people, since as a disadvantaged minority group, the Wayuu struggle for survival. The reasons for this are lack of access to clean drinking water, pollution and inflation. According to a research made in 2014 by the Colombian channel RCN, 50 Wayuu children under the age of 5 die each month.

In 2013, UNICEF Colombia established that 27.9 % of children in the Colombian Guajira region, are malnourished. Mama Tierra is fighting malnutrition. 

We want longlasting empowerement of indigenous women to enable them to be financially independent and take care of their families.


At MAMA TIERRA we create sustainable joyful products aiming to empower indigenous women, promoting their art, facilitating thereby work opportunities and protecting the environment.

MAMA TIERRA researches, promotes and keeps alive ancestral skills and techniques by distributing them around the world. Our aim is to share indigenous traditions and knowledge.


MAMA TIERRA brings happiness to the conscious consumer with meaningful accessories.

At MAMA TIERRA we envision a world where indigenous women determine their own futures and live lives free from modern slavery, racism and hunger. We believe this is possible by promoting their art and supporting their communities through sustainable development.

You are welcome to give us your donation so that we can continue driving at full power. Instead of material gifts, how about giving someone a Copalana gift card, which can be redeemed for important charitable projects so that our project can continue with its important cause. Many thanks!

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Katherine Klemenz

Project Leader
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