Asociación de Artesanas Unidas de Los Límites (ASOARTESANAS, United Women Artisans' Association of Los Límites) operates in an area of northern Colombia which contains the last remaining population of cotton-top tamarin monkeys on the planet. The tamarin species faces threats from deforestation, hunting, as well as human capture for sale in the illegal pet trade. This artisanal cooperative produces stuffed animal toys of the tamarin, a product which has improved incomes while simultaneously raising awareness about the threats posed to this endangered species.
The women’s group also transforms discarded plastic bags into handbags, creating an additional source of income and reducing pollution. Women who previously had little to now work or gainful employment now make an average of USD 150 per month. This artisanal recycling activity has resulted in the removal of more than three million plastic bags from local forests and streams. Association conservation activities include community outreach and training in alternative energy, including the use of clay woodstoves and biomass pellets.