Read letters from Alexandra Buck
Alexandra Buck began her service as a mission co-worker in January 2009 as project facilitator for Bridge of Hope, a fair trade project developed in 2005 by the Joining Hands network in Peru.
Joining Hands is a program of the Presbyterian Hunger Program that addresses the root causes of hunger through networks of churches and local community organizations in developing countries. These networks create campaigns to fight hunger at a local level while working with PC(USA) presbyteries and congregations to address global hunger issues.
As the goal of Joining Hands is to move beyond a project-based model of development, Alexandra’s priority is to work with the existing Joining Hands network to develop a campaign to support trade justice. “Fair trade,” Alexandra notes, “is just one aspect of the campaign, which offers an alternative economic model that benefits local communities.”
When Bridge of Hope was founded in 2005, all the artisans were earning less than 50 dollars a month. Thanks to an informal marketing strategy mostly based in the PC(USA), Bridge of Hope has been able to significantly increase the artisans’ monthly income. Some artisans have seen their monthly income rise 400 percent.
Alex nurtures the fair trade bridge between the artisans in Peru and consumers in the United States. Another of her priorities is to systemize the Bridge of Hope experience so other groups throughout the region can learn from its successes and mistakes. She organizes cross-training events for artisans to learn or share what they’ve learned with others.
While Alexandra is based in Lima — and many of the artisans she works with are also in Lima — she recruits artisans from all over the huge, culturally diverse country to participate in Bridge of Hope. She focuses especially on indigenous women artisans, she says, “because they have been the most negatively affected by the globalization of trade in the current structure.”
Prior to her appointment to Peru, Alex was a Young Adult Intern with the Presbyterian U.N. Office in New York. In her position as seminar program coordinator, she developed educational curricula, organized visits for church groups and supported the advocacy work of the office.
Alex is a magna cum laude graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, with a bachelor’s degree in international and Hispanic studies and a minor in English.
Alex is a member of West Granville Presbyterian Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Birthday: January 10