The cotton-top tamarin conservation project began with a partnership between EWCL Team Tamarin and Proyecto Tití, a cotton-top tamarin conservation organization, located in Colombia. Proyecto Tití has developed an innovative Eco-Mochila initiative which uses the skills of local women to create a sustainably produced cultural handbag. Team Tamarin worked directly with Proyecto Tití, Inc. to develop the opportunity for marketing Eco-Mochilas in the United States and create awareness of the plight of the cotton-top tamarin.
Over the course of the project, Team Tamarin spread the word of Proyecto Tití’s work through blogs, newspaper articles, magazine articles and a cartoon for kids. Team Tamarin was responsible for the direct sale of more than 50 Eco-Mochilas via an art exhibit featuring the Eco-Mochilas at an art gallery in Washington, DC. Including the art exhibit sales, Team Tamarin was responsible for the direct sale of nearly 100 Eco-Mochilas. Team Tamarin also successfully established a partnership between the Micke Grove Zoo in Lodi, California and Proyecto Tití through the introduction of the first Cotton-top Tamarin Day in the United States. Cotton-top Tamarin Day introduced visitors to the zoo’s own cotton-top tamarins while providing educational materials on Proyecto Tití’s mission to study and conserve cotton-top tamarins and their habitat.
As a result of Team Tamarin’s efforts, the Eco-Mochilas are now certified as Wildlife Friendly through the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network (WFEN). WFEN works to “market products that conserve threatened wildlife while contributing to the economic vitality of rural communities.” The certification provides a new outlet for sales of the bags in the United States.
The group created marketing materials to help sell the Eco-Mochilas in the US.
The group was able to get the Eco-Machilas certified as Wildlife Friendly
Disney’s Animal Kingdom: Anne Savage
Proyecto Titi: Rosamira Guillen
Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network: Ray Victurine and Julie Stein
Micke Grove Zoo: Annette Menchaca and Matt McKim
Buy Eco-Machilas! By purchasing mochilas you are helping the community of Los Limites generate income to help support their families while reducing their dependency on forest resources, and this helps cotton-top tamarins. (http://www.proyectotiti.com/english/products-you-can-purchase.htm)