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CEOLI is an organization in Cochabamba, Bolivia that provides education, vocational training and medical treatment to handicapped children and young adults. CEOLI is widely recognized as being one of the best organizations for the handicapped in Bolivia. Nevertheless, they are struggling to provide for the many, many young people in the Cochabamba area who need their services so desperately. A small group of severely handicapped young artists is hand-painting greeting cards of typical Bolivian scenes. The extent of the young people’s disabilities, combined with a generally depressed economy, cause their other employment prospects to be extremely limited. One of the more skilled painters holds the brush in his mouth.
CEOLI is working to develop a market to sell these cards so these young adults can be at least partially gainfully employed. We (Marvin and Martie Wachs) are assisting CEOLI by finding potential markets and buyers in the U.S. Here is an opportunity for those of us in more fortunate circumstances and countries to extend a hand to young adults who genuinely want to work and earn their own way.
Each card is hand-painted and handcrafted so no two are identical. There are 27 models, and most models come in a choice of background colors. A number of the designs can be used for Christmas cards, although they are also appropriate for general use. All other models could be used as all-purpose note cards, or even birthday cards. They make excellent gifts as note cards. Each painted scene is mounted on white or tan bi-fold card stock measuring about 4¼ by 6½, although TC-31 and TC-34 are slightly smaller. The inside is blank. Plain white envelopes are included.
The card designs are of Bolivian scenes, or people in native costumes set against rural landscapes. All the scenes have vivid colors and are strikingly beautiful. Cards painted by adults are $1.50 apiece while the children's cards are $1.00 each, plus shipping. This is a non-profit operation. All money from the sale of cards goes either to direct purchase of materials such as card stock, envelopes, paint, etc. or to CEOLI and the artists. The artists are paid at the time they complete their work. In Cochabamba, Bolivia, the artist's earnings from one card will buy two loaves of bread, one liter of milk, ½ kilo of apples, bananas or beans, or three bus rides across town.
If you are interested in cards for Christmas, gifts or personal use click on the Mail in Order Form below. We also encourage groups to use these cards for fund raising projects. For questions, Marvin and Martie Wachs may be reached by email by clicking Contact Us (please use "CEOLI Cards" in the subject line so you will pass security filters).
We have provided a Mail In Order Form. Use Print Preview to avoid printing more than the Order Form, fill in the blanks for your selection, add the postage as shown below the Order Form, calculate the grand total and write a check payable to Marvin Wachs. Your order will generally be filled within two or three days of receipt.
We thank you on behalf of CEOLI and the young people in Bolivia.
This page and its information has remained almost the same since we first posted it in 2004. Starting in 2013 we now have children contributing their art to the card selection. From these beginnings CEOLI hopes to train additional artists to fill vacancies and increase production. More information can be found on the New Youth Card page.