"Hammocks have been used in Mesoamerica for hundreds of years. Some of our canvas hammocks are made in the same way the Spaniards taught the local artisans."
"The Hammocks of El Salvador group was founded in 1974 when we realized there could be a demand in Europe for the handicrafts of El Salvador," Elena de Alfaro says. "At first, we found many artisans who helped us begin. Their abilities were incredible and we grew together.
"It wasn't easy. One of the greatest difficulties we faced was for the artisans to work with the same size measurements, and finish the work on time. But with encouragement and coaching, we overcame this problem. We understand the value of the artisans and their work.
"Today, our main objective is to help member artisans study, to go farther in school than their parents did. If possible, we want them to go to the university or learn a technical career. We also want them to be able to improve their homes. We are so proud that many of their children have now finished college.
"During these years of hard work, our efforts have been recognized by the El Salvador Exporter's Corporation, the Ministry of Economy, the El Salvador Chamber of Commerce and Industry and an organization in Switzerland. All of this is thanks to each and every person involved in every step of the work behind our designs.
"Hammocks have been used in Mesoamerica for hundreds of years. Some of our canvas hammocks are made in the same way the Spaniards taught the local artisans. We have a social obligation and this is why we try to maintain traditional artisan customs. We believe we can achieve this because each artisan works from his or her own town.
"After all these years, we've had some sad moments, such as saying goodbye to artisans who were born into the group, or facing natural disasters like earthquakes when some of our collaborators lost their homes. But after the darkness comes the light and we were able to help, thanks to donations we received.
"Today, we work so that our traditions prevail. We strive to create stronger bonds with the artisans and to grow as a group and as a family. This is a wonderful opportunity to provide more paying work to El Salvadoran artisans and in this way, to make progress together."