Before completing her junior year at Yale, Ruth DeGolia pursued her idea to help the indigenous women of Rue, Guatemala overcome the poverty and oppression they faced as returned refugees. She created a market for these artisans by selling their handwoven handbags and clutches right from her dorm room. 11 years later, Mercado Global has created job opportunities for over 300 Mayan women and has been recognized by the World Bank, the UN and the Clinton Global Initiative. Not bad for a young undergrad with such mature vision! In addition to continuing to sell beautifully crafted bags and accessories, the organization offers ways in which you can get involved as a Mercado Global ambassador or a participant in one of insight trips to Guatemala. Check out their gorgeous fall collection below and help support this ever inspiring social enterprise.

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(Mercado Global bags available at Mercado Global, J.Crew and Anthropologie)