We selected our initial communities after visiting them and getting to know their background, the people, their heritage and surroundings. Mostly we are interested in working with indigenous communities in need of preservation and appreciation of their heritage and support of their artisans and local activities. Hoping to encourage fair trade and avoid a disloyal competition of prices inside their community and markets, it has become our main goal to promote empowerment of women and break the cycle of poverty and obstacles they may encounter.
The process of integration between Etnica and the communities has been long and we have been able to establish a productive and mutually beneficial relationship. We chose our initial artisans based on their fair trade and community work principles. Currently we only handle a small group of artisans but are not closed to the possibility of integrating new ones as long as we can manage them in a suitable manner.
All work and communication with the communities is done directly with Etnica. We are looking to avoid a large amount of middle men and maintain an open and trust based relationship between both parts. Communication is done online, over the phone and in person. None of the communities we work with is entirely remote or inaccessible.
The artisans already have a line of their own products established. We provide them an intensive review and advice if needed to improve their techniques and apply innovation and creativity. Currently we have a creative director who works hand in hand with them and selects a rotation of products that will give them exposure of most of the work made.
Mostly the skills and techniques are a very important part of the communities traditions, they are usually passed from generation to generation and in some of the cases a few of them are self taught. Most techniques apply hand work and require years of experience.
Depending on the product it may take a few hours, days or weeks. As mentioned above, the techniques used are traditional and it requires a process that may start from scratch, the complexity of the process is key to the final quality of the products.
No, we are trying to maintain a reasonable amount in existence, however not all of the products may be available at the time you place your order. If this is the case we will provide you detailed information about how long it will take the product you desire to be custom made by the artisans and finally reach your hands.
We are only selling and exposing our products online at the time. If you seek to learn more about the communities and artisans that shaped the products make sure you check the Responsible Travel section.
A homestay is a form of tourism which allows travelers to stay with locals at their houses with their families. It provides a cultural exchange which promotes a true local experience and will be a give and take experience for the traveler and family involved. A homestay is an excellent opportunity for learning a new craft, a new language and all about traditions and heritage of a different culture.
No, the family’s first language is either Spanish or their Mayan dialect which can be either Kakchiquel or Tzutujil (depending on the village where you stay). If you are not fluent in either of these, as most of the travelers, there is no need to worry; you will be amazed how well you can communicate! Also if you are interested, there are Spanish learning opportunities in the communities.
Most of the families provide all 3 meals, if you only want to include breakfast or a certain amount of meals, let us know booking so we can make the arrangements. The family can also provide you with a space for you to store food and snacks.
You will certainly have your own room with a bed of your own and all basic and necessary commodities. In most of the cases you will be sharing bathroom with the rest of the family; a few houses do have private bathrooms for guests.
Most communities we work with provide a very wholesome and safe environment. Our homestay program has only been applied to the communities that are organized and can guarantee the safety of those who visit and those who are part of it.
As mentioned above it is an excellent opportunity for learning something new, Etnica encourages a personalized experience with the artisans and members of the communities we work with. From learning a new language, fishing, weaving, ceramics, painting, cooking and farming; there are different creative experiences you can engage in.
This is a form of travelling that allows travelers to involve themselves in local activities to develop their creative potential and participate directly with the destination they visit.
Etnica promotes this way of travelling because it is a way of discovering culture from an interactive and dynamic approach that can promote the value and importance of the heritage and people of the communities we work with.
We offer experiences & workshops that will allow you to learn and participate in local activities and will provide a cultural exchange from both sides. Responsible travel also respects the charge capacity of each destination and incentivates the growth of low scale economies and increases community involvement.
We have activities that range from ½ day to a full week. Depending on the interests and amount of time you have available we can provide full information about your options if you are interested in a homestay or just on creative tourism. If you are also visiting the areas we work with on your own, we can make arrangements for you to participate in any activity of your interest.
This modality of tourism is a low impact activity that provides an extra income for the community and allows participation and empowerment of different members of the community. It also incentivizes the value of their culture and allows them to share their values, way of life and what they aspire to accomplish.
We have three current projects we are supporting and are seeking others to get involved. In Xenimajuyu you will find Eco-ReEvolución, in San Antonio Aguascalientes Caldo De Piedra community libraries and in El Paredón, you can find ABIMA. We have volunteer options for all of them and are grateful for any donation that can keep them going.
If you join the volunteer program you will participate in any necessary activity required depending on the project. The volunteer program will have a cost for basic expenses and once on the job housing and meals may be provided. If you are interested in joining or would like further information contact us.
We allow you to choose which project you would like to donate, you can also be specific of how you would like your donation to be invested in or you are also welcome to donate items based on the specific needs each project has.
We are open to any help we can get to provide basic medical attention, educational and learning opportunities for the communities. If you have any ideas or suggestions that can be useful for us and would like to get involved contact us.
We have established two days of dispatching orders a week. As mentioned previously not all products may be in stock and most of them are custom made; as soon as you place your order if not in stock, production time and shipping date will be confirmed.
Shipping rates vary depending on the zone we ship to and the dimensions and weight of the packages. Volume of some packages may apply dimensional weight.
We provide shipping internationally to the following zones:
Zone 1 Central America
Zone 2 North America
Zone 3 South America & Caribbean
Zone 4 Europe & Asia
Zone 5 Rest of the world
Shipping to zones 3, 4 & 5 can incur in additional taxes which are not covered in the shipping costs. These taxes will depend on the port of entry that processes your order; we do not take responsibility for this charge and the amounts charged are beyond our control. PLEASE TAKE NOTICE IF YOU ARE PLACING AN ORDER FOR ANY OF THESE ZONES.
If you would like us to expedite your shipping, contact us before placing your order. Shipping rates will vary for this service.
We ship from Guatemala and use an international courier system for the orders to reach your door. Our standard delivery time frame is 5 to 15 business days. This time frame is subject to the country your package is being shipped and how custos handles the product. After your order has been confirmed and shipped, we will provide you with the tracking information.
Etnica guarantees the quality and uniqueness of all our products. As a result of being handcrafted many items will vary slightly in color or size; if you are not completely satisfied with your order please contact us. Shipping charges are non-refundable.
Any damaged or defective item should be reported to us within 10 business days of receiving your order. You should not ship damaged merchandise back before contacting us. If items are missing from your order you should contact us within 10 business days of receiving the package.
To cancel an order you must contact us as soon as possible, if it has not been shipped we will be happy to assist you. If your order has not been shipped we will do our best to accommodate your request. We cannot authorize a cancelation if the order has been shipped, ALL SALES ARE FINAL.
We protect the privacy of our shopper’s information and data collected in our website as you use it. Your personal information is a serious matter to us and our website has been designed applying safety standards used by our developers and we will not disclose any customer information for purposes not related to Etnica.
We collect information directly provided by our user. The information we collect includes personal data such as name, email address, mailing and billing address, phone number, payment card information, product preferences and demographic information, among others. We also collect information provided about others if you decide to ship your purchase to someone else. The information we collect will be used for the purpose required; we do not provide information to any third party that does not participate in the operations of Etnica. We will only share information to vendors or other service providers who need access to carry out work on our behalf or if we believe your actions are inconsistent with our user agreements or policies.
The information collected is put to use by Etnica for:
Improvement of the online shopping experience.
Provide products and services requested.
Process transactions and send confirmations and receipts.
Monitor and analyze activity, trends and usage.
Anticipate your needs and provide better customer service.
Etnica is based in Guatemala and the information collected abides by privacy protection laws. By accessing and using our website and providing information to us, you consent and agree to the processing of it.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding how Etnica manages or uses your personal information be sure to contact us.
Policy published: 2017
No, we only deliver to physical addresses.
Yes, all of our prices are in US dollars and include local taxes.
BOOKING & CANCELLATION POLICY
In order to cancel a package for which you have made a booking, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org stating your order reference and “Cancellation” in the title of the email. You may telephone us to discuss your desire to cancel the package but cancellation will only be effective when we have received from the person who purchased the package a written confirmation of his or her decision to cancel the package. An email to us stating that you desire to cancel a package is an irrevocable notice and you cannot subsequently change your mind even if we have not yet acknowledged the cancellation in writing.
If you cancel your tour:
We will apply the airline’s cancellation policy to any flights in your package and reimburse your ground arrangements in accordance with the penalty timeline
For cancellation of ground-only arrangements:
(a) 90 days or more prior to the stated departure date, we will retain an administrative fee of $100 per traveler and reimburse the remaining amount;
(b) Between 30 and 89 days prior to the stated departure date, we will retain 50% of the total booking cost and reimburse the remaining amount;
(c) Less than 30 days prior to departure, we will retain 100% of the price paid by you for the package.
If you leave a trip for any reason after it has started, we are not obliged to make any refunds for unused services.
We may cancel a package at any time prior to departure by giving you notice by email, letter or (if very close to departure) by telephoning you, if, due to terrorism, natural disasters, political instability or other external events it is not viable or safe for our local partner to operate the planned itinerary. If we cancel a package prior to departure, in your sole and absolute discretion you may choose between (i) us applying the amounts paid towards an alternative trip, or (ii) receiving a full refund. We are not responsible for any incidental expenses that you may have incurred as a result of your booking such as visas, vaccinations or non-refundable flights.
AMENDMENTS TO BOOKED PACKAGES
If you wish to change the date of one trip there is a fee of
(a) $100 per traveler if done at least 90 days prior to the scheduled date of departure, subject to availability; and
(b) $300 per traveler if done between 30 and 89 days prior to the scheduled date of departure, subject to availability.
If you wish to change the name of one or several travelers of the trip, there is a fee of $100 per passenger if done at least 90 days prior to the scheduled date of departure. No name changes are permitted within 89 days prior to the scheduled date of departure.
No amendments are permitted to your booking within 29 days of departure.