Adelante
Shoe
Co.

Pastores, Guatemala

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Project + Services

Adelante Shoe Co. is a social enterprise in Pastores, Guatemala, which produces handmade, artisan shoes for the global marketplace. The craftsmen are paid according to the company’s Living Well Line, allowing craftsmen to advance themselves, their families and their communities.

The Poco a Poco team conducted photography and videography work for Adelante Shoe Co., including an intimate “Day in the Life” production with company craftsmen.

Pastores, a sleepy town of less than 4,000, is world-renowned for its handmade leather footwear. The last 40 years have seen it transform from a small farming community to an international destination, streets lined with shops selling wildly-pointed cowboy boots and women’s knee-highs.

 
 
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Two generations passed in which in the town of Pastores - if it’s not 100%, I think at least 95% - of the population knew how to make boots. The entire town of Pastores knew how to make boots.

- Horacio, Shop Manager, Adelante


 Adelante operates under the Living Well Line, a social impact methodology developed by Peter Sacco and Bob Mott aimed to improve the lives of underserved communities across the world.

Adelante Shoe Co. craftsmen earn $825 quetzales per week, up to four times more than other employment opportunities in the Pastores boot industry.


 
 
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It’s opened doors for me - to be able to do the work that I like. And in reality - it’s a salary. And one day that will help me realize my dreams.

- Rolando, Craftsman, Adelante


We think that the most important thing is to create a product with personality.

But it’s difficult to know the quality of the boot that you’re buying or wearing. There are things that you just can’t see.

- Horacio, Shop Manager, Adelante

 
 
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(Adelante) is very different - like I’m learning all over again. The styles they make there, the way they work, it’s all different. But I like to try new things, and now I have that opportunity.

- Tino, Craftsman, Adelante