In the Book of Job, we learn that even at the hand of God, suffering and loss are not experiences earned, nor are they evenly distributed. As we listen to Job's pleading, his weeping to the Lord, we see that even the virtuous are susceptible to indescribable pain.
But of course, this is not how Job's story ends. In a resounding message of humility and perseverance, we are told that Job is rewarded twofold for his relentless faith, his refusal to despair.
According to legend, so that his suffering might not be wasted, Job's many many tears filled the soil on which he sat. Where they fell to the ground, tall grasses sprouted up towards the sky. And hanging from each blade were tiny white seeds, Job's tears reincarnated.
In Coppey Abajo, Costa Rica, the indigenous Guaymi people, like Job, face undeserved suffering in the form of poverty and prejudice. And like Job, they make no waste of these tears.
Native to Asia, the lagrimas de san pedro (Job's Tears) grows naturally in the tropical climates of Central America and is a plentiful resource in Coppey Abajo. Women of Hand Producing Hope's jewelry-making cooperative make use of the tiny, pearl-like seeds to create opportunity for themselves and something beautiful for their customers.
Collecting hundreds at a time from the areas around their homes, the Guayami women then sell them to HPH program leaders. The seeds are then stored for future use, even when they aren't in season, and then redistributed for jewelry making.
When you wear our Kaia, Maria Elena, Naia, Radiance, Irma, Miriam, Oro, and Guanacaste pieces, you are wearing tiny, beautiful little symbols of strength and perseverance despite difficulty. You are wearing a woman's creativity, innovation and hard work--all of which have helped her to achieve a fair wage, new skills, and educational opportunities.
It's all a matter of taking tears and turning them into rewards, of turning them into hope.
“And thou shalt be secure, because there is hope.”
— JOB 11:18