Saving the Art of Montecristi Panama Hats
We exist to prevent the extinction of a fine art.
The business was created in 1988 with the specific goal to prevent the impending extinction of the art of fine hat weaving in Montecristi. How do we save the art of fine hat weaving? Simple. Buy as many hats as possible, raise market prices so weavers earn enough to make weaving a desirable way to make a living.
To save the art, first we must save the artists.
We have been working, sometimes successfully, for more than 20 years to improve quality of life for the weavers. When we have the funding, we provide free medical care, prescription medications, blood tests, eye exams, even food. Now, we are building a water purification and storage system.
The weavers never met a buyer like me.
I don’t try to beat them or cheat them, like they’re used to from the local buyers. I treat the weavers like my teammates, not my adversaries. They make what I sell. I want them to keep weaving. I pay higher prices, give them free supplies, even free groceries. An entertaining example:
This little boy caught my eye.
I noticed his eyes don’t agree with each other. I worried he couldn’t learn to read, that kids would tease him. We got him to an optometrist and into a series of corrective lenses. Here’s how it happened.
Even National Geographic noticed my work to save the art of weaving Montecristi Panama hats is important. See the article.
I’m one of Keoghan’s Heroes on CBS. And he’s one of mine. Watch the video.