!!HIP HIP HORRAY!!
I would say this definitely calls for a little bit of reflection...
Sotrami started their artisan mining community back in 1987, which was not long after the American mining companies where forced to leave South American mines in the late 70s as gold price dropped and Peru decided to nationalise their mines.
The miners and their families who migrated to nearby Santa Filomena, who were mainly small-scale agriculturalists, unemployed and landless people displaced by violence in other regions of Peru, took to informal mining in this area. Back then children where laboring in the mines and conditions were unsafe, and the trade price they were getting for their gold was far below market value.
Today this is a completely different story.
Being the passionate, focused and caring community they are, they have made this mine provide for 500 families in their community and hosts work for around 300 miners. Sotrami was the first mine in Peru to be accredited by ASM, The Association Artisanal Small-Scale Miners
. Sotrami have always striven for the best for their community.
Today there are 88 shareholder workers in two groups and an additional 30 self-employed miners working in the mine, plus the women’s group and five engineers who manage the mine and processing plant.
Their facilities are growing every year with the help of the Fairtrade premium they receive for selling their Fairtrade gold, and they now have an ambulance, well housed schools, a football pitch, and a telephone mast so they can communicate from the top of the Andes to their loved ones to name but a few things it has bought. The money they receive on top of the market value price is fundamental for the community's growth.
Now that the silver that comes from their mines has also been Fairtrade accredited, we can only predict an even brighter future for Sotrami.
As the sun sets over the Andes tonight we hope the residents of Santa Filomena feel humbled with the incredible success they have achieved so far.
We look forward to the photos of their birthday party next week!!