Able to celebrate this Christmas
Gregorio Yupanqi and his wife Concepcion, can look forward to Christmas - thanks to a seasonal tradition at Crisil in Bolivia, which makes beautiful handmade glass products for Traidcraft.
Every worker at Crisil receives a hamper that includes a chicken and bottle of wine, plus toys for any children aged 12 or under, which means the couple has two hampers for the family to share. The gift is presented in a large bowl, so even the container can be put to good use once the contents are removed.
Gregorio who joined Crisil nine years ago, now specialises in wine glasses, connecting the base and stem, while Concepcion is part of a team that packs the finished products. The regular income they receive has helped them to build their own home - but things were very different when Gregorio worked elsewhere, as he explained.
"Sometimes, owners of other places do not have money to pay every week. That is not the case in Crisil."
No money to pay us
"When I was working in La Paz, sometimes there was no money to pay us so the factory gave us the amount of pay in glass and asked us to go and sell it. We had to put the price down so that, if we were able to sell it, we were not getting the amount of money that we were owed."
"All that time we were working only to eat because there was no possibility of saving any money."
Like families around the world, they are affected by rising prices, but the couple can afford electricity, gas for cooking and also water, which is delivered by lorry and stored in a drum.
"Food is our most expensive item," Gregorio said.
Providing a good future for their four children is a priority, as Conception explained.
"We have to pay for the children to go to school. It depends on them but we would like our children to study as much as they can. We want to save for them to study"
CRISIL is a glass-making factory situated in Cochabamba, central Boliva. It is a family-owned business begun by two brothers, Carlos and Walter Bustos, after one of them spent some years in the USA but wanted to return to his home country.
CRISIL currently employs around 100 people as well as providing employment for used-bottle collectors who supply the factory with glass for recycling. CRISIL has been involved in product development consultation and been given technical assistance in recent years to help the business develop.