Global Exchange is a membership-based international human rights organization dedicated to promoting social, economic, and environmentsl justice around the world.

Remembering Jane Mintz on Día de los Muertos

2nd November, 2010 - Posted by Tex Dworkin - 6 Comments

Photo Credit: Maya Traditions

Today is Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a holiday focused on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember those who have died.

In honor of Day of the Dead, we here at Global Exchange wish to remember our friend and ally Jane Mintz. Earlier this year, Jane received the award for Outstanding Service to the Fair Trade Community post mortem from the Fair Trade Federation, “in memory of Jane’s boundless commitment to changing the lives of women in Guatemala through the preservation of traditional weaving and the expansion of economic opportunities.”

Jane founded Maya Traditions, a Fair Trade wholesale business marketing Guatemalan handicrafts and legal foundation providing social services including women’s empowerment programs, health programs, and educational scholarships for their children.

Throughout the years, Global Exchange and Maya Traditions have worked side by side in the Fair Trade movement. Global Exchange Reality Tours participants have visited Maya Traditions weavers in Guatemala and our Fair Trade Stores proudly offer Maya Traditions products.

Jane with Medea Benjamin at a Global Exchange Store Event

Global Exchange Executive Director Kirsten Moller shared these thoughts about Jane:

When I think of community, I think of Jane Mintz –a deeply committed member of her community in Guatemala and in Noe Valley (a San Francisco neighborhood).

Jane was born with enough resources to be comfortable but she chose to commit them to her community, seeing education, health and fellowship over time to be her gift to give and Fair Trade to be the way she could keep it going.

She always had time to talk, to smile and to hear how you were and those exchanges were the currency, the investment that created real and long lasting community.

Photo Credit: Maya Traditions

You can find out more about Jane’s contributions here. For more about Dia de los Muertos and how to create your own altar, read the post Dia de los Muertos.

Jane Mintz, 1943-2009

Who are you remembering today?

6 Responses to “Remembering Jane Mintz on Día de los Muertos”

  • Anne

    thanks for posting this moving piece about a real Fair Trade hero. I’ve seen the beautiful Maya Traditions products, but I didn’t know the story behind them. You also reminded me of how important it is to honor the dead on this holiday!

    • Tex Dworkin Tex

      Glad you enjoyed the post about Jane. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Jane was such a beautiful person inside and out. She has and will always be someone who inspired me. One person truly can have a positive impact on a great many people. Jane was one of those people.

  • Masumi

    I loved reading this post about Jane. I grew up with her throughout my childhood. She lived next door to me in Guatemala and I helped her often with her projects in Lago Atitlan. Who would have ever thought that 15 years later I would move just two blocks away from her in Noe Valley and work with her at Maya Traditions in San Francisco? To top it all off, I even worked at Global Exchange, an organization whose merits I still extoll today. I loved Jane “Juana” with all my heart and felt so honored to have her in my life; she filled me with so much gratitude and inspiration. I feel part of what shaped me was due to her influence and I was very very sad to see her go. Loving her always in my thoughts forever.

  • Shelby

    Jane was my grandmother. And somehow I stumbled upon this. She would have loved to hear this. Thank you. This article really meant a lot

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