CRISIL is a recycled glass-making factory situated in Cochabamba, central Bolivia. It is a family-owned business begun by two brothers, Carlos and Walter Bustos, after one of them spent some years in the USA but wanted to return to his home country. They make beautiful handmade glass products for Traidcraft which are very popular with our customers here in Leicester. The gorgeous hand-blown recycled glasses are a true household essential – beautiful, yet robust enough for everyday use. Practical too as they are fully dishwasher safe and for as little as £3.50 each not expensive.
Gregorio who joined Crisil nine years ago, now specialises in wine glasses, connecting the base and stem, while Concepcion is part of a team that packs the finished products. The regular income they receive has helped them to build their own home – but things were very different when Gregorio worked elsewhere, as he explained.
“Sometimes, owners of other places do not have money to pay every week. That is not the case in Crisil.”
“When I was working in La Paz, sometimes there was no money to pay us so the factory gave us the amount of pay in glass and asked us to go and sell it. We had to put the price down so that, if we were able to sell it, we were not getting the amount of money that we were owed.”
“All that time we were working only to eat because there was no possibility of saving any money.”
Like families around the world, they are affected by rising prices, but the couple can afford electricity, gas for cooking and also water, which is delivered by lorry and stored in a drum.
“Food is our most expensive item,” Gregorio said.
Providing a good future for their four children is a priority, as Conception explained.
“We have to pay for the children to go to school. It depends on them but we would like our children to study as much as they can. We want to save for them to study”