Shelley Tennyson found her way to the ancient village of Teotitlán de Valle through the microfinance nonprofit, Fundacion En Via, where she served as a volunteer teaching money management and business development courses to the locals. She found that no one really had any money to manage but that they were producing some of the most beautiful textiles she’d yet seen. Worse yet, the artisans were facing the hard decision of whether to abandon their craft for work that could actually support their family and children’s futures. The spark of an idea that became Manos Zapotecas developed and Shelley began to bring these textiles to new markets back in the States. What began with just a few artisans producing handbags, pillow covers, and rugs has transformed into something much bigger and has positively impacted the entire community of Teotitlán.