(NACOGDOCHES, TX) – In buying fair trade products, Nacogdoches shoppers help provide a hand up, increasing access to food, education, health care and housing for tens of thousands of individuals in developing countries around the world. A carefully curated selection of gifts, foods and accessories made in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and East Texas will be available for sale during the 2019 Fair Trade International Market at Westminster Presbyterian Church. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fri., Nov. 22, and 9 a.m. to noon, Sat., Nov. 23. Sales of useful household items, dazzling jewelry finds and unique gifts promote compassion, service, mutual aid, and peacemaking. “I love shopping at the International Fair-Trade event,” said Westminster member Sue Johnson. “It’s a great opportunity to buy unique Christmas gifts, while supporting artisans from diverse cultures. The income artisans earn through fair trade helps strengthen their communities.” Palm leaf grass baskets hand-crafted using traditional techniques provide useful storage. Creators from Dhaka Handicrafts earn a fair price for their work to create the baskets which preserve the culture through wages that help artisans in rural Bangladesh remain self-sufficient. “Not only me, there are lot of other women who are able to live a dignified life and become independent and leading the household with prosperity because of opportunities and services provided by DH,” said Dhaka artisan Fatema Begum. Westminster member and sale organizer Terri Moehring works closely with Joanie Cooksey of Ten Thousand Villages to decide which products find their way to Nacogdoches. There is always something to discover as artisan partnerships are added and inventory changes each year. Cooksey will be on site during the 2019 market to share artisan stories. Miniature ceramic nativities are a specialty of artisan partners Manos Amigas in Peru. Manos Amigas, which translates to “hands joined in friendship,” collaborates with family workshops and small business groups that make a variety of handicrafts in impoverished areas of Lima and in the Andean highlands. Manos Amigas artisan Felipe Enriquez’s workshop produces ceramic nativities for Ten Thousand Villages. During the time of the “Sendero Luminoso” (Shining Path) uprising, Enriquez was one of many Peruvians asked to take sides and join the Shining Path revolutionaries or support the military. Either choice threatened his life. Deciding it was too dangerous to remain in their home, he and his family moved to a community on the outskirts of Lima. There, he started to rebuild with only his ceramic skills. The family had no electricity, water or sewer services. Partnering with Manos Amigas and having an international export network helps him earn a decent living for his family. "I am so happy that our church is hosting 10,000 Villages again this year. The items are unusual finds and the money goes to worthy mission causes,” said Westminster member Lynnae Perdue. Gifts made by church members, including preserves, ornaments and bath scrubs, will be found among the international treasures. Sales of locally made items benefit local mission outreach for LOVE INC of Nacogdoches, Community RX, Nacogdoches County United Way, Women's Shelter of East Texas, Nacogdoches H.O.P.E., Christian Women's & Men's Job Corps and the Nacogdoches Senior Center. This annual event raised nearly $11,000 for fair trade mission and more than $2,000 for local mission in 2018. The 2019 event includes price points to fit most budgets with items ranging from $2 to $80. Cash, check and credit card payments will be accepted. Westminster Presbyterian Church is a designated Texas Historic Landmark that traces its roots to the first Protestant minister to be ordained on Texas soil. The invitation to worship at Westminster Church is always open to persons who wish to join us in witness and service to Jesus Christ. If you are interested in church membership or desire more information about this congregation, please call the church office at 936-564-0203.