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Faces of Innovation

Maria Barsallo ’07

a marketplace for traditional artisans

Maria's story more info

Maria Barsallo ’07

In some communities in Panama, 9 out of 10 people live on less than a dollar a day. Maria Barsallo ’07, whose roots are in Panama, saw that artisans in those communities were producing beautiful, handmade items; the problem was their only customers were people who happened to come to the village and stop at the residents’ huts. So Barsallo started DESDE to give artisans in marginalized communities access to a local and international marketplace. Desde is Spanish for “from,” and represents to Barsallo a sense of empowerment and transparency to the label of origin.