This essay explores the connections
among tourism, shopping and conservation. We ask whether it's
time to engage artesanos and fans alike in social web. This
topic is explored in depth in the Slideshare
presentation Crafting Our Future (Fabricando Nuestro Futuro).
Buying from locals assists local economic development. Shopping
has great entertainment value and tourists love souvenirs, the
reminders of a place
where you are not.
On the downside, not all crafts are produced by or benefit
local artisans. Nor is production always sustainable. Be wary
of buying products made with feathers or animal skins if you're
trying to protect nature!
For travelers, educate yourself before you arrive. The Web
is a great way to learn about a country's traditions. Buy a
and surf the Web.
Figure out your own limits. Are you most comfortable in a gift
store or in an artist workshop? Some programs are criticized
as 'hardship tours' because of the amount of walking involved
and rustic accomodations. If that's not for you, stay in the
Other travelers are disappointed if they don't see every step
in the artistic process. Plan ahead!
MAKING THE PURCHASE
In many markets, negotiation is part of the process. Too often
well-meaning tourists will drive a hard bargain. If you find
something you like, offer what you consider a fair price rather
than the lowest possible bid.
Tourism and the Web
and Indigenous People
Crafts in Oaxaca City - Ron Mader
with the Weavers
Yarn Paintings - Charmayne McGee
d'beni ruin chei laadi