Sarchí artisans organizing to promote their products

Artisans in Sarchí are taking steps to market their furniture products collectively.

The Cámara de Comercio, Industria y Turismo de Sarchí has joined with the Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio to develop a long-term marketing plan that includes a Sarchí trademark.

Also participating are the Comisión Nacional de Artesanías and the Universidad Veritas.

Like so many businesses in Costa Rica, Sarchí has relied on its long-term reputation for fine wood products to bring in the customers. A few firms advertise, but the bulk rely on walk-ins from passersby.  They also export their wares to the Central Valley where furniture is sold as being of a Sarchí origin whether it is or not.

A key element of the plan is an online catalogue that will display the works of the initial 12 artisan workshops in the region that have joined the initiative, said a summary by the ministry.

Another plan is to produce documentaries about the various artisans of the area.

In addition to furniture Sarchí is known for producing ox carts and those distinctive and colorful cart wheels.

The campaign is being called Sarchí Color Cultura. And one target is the tourists trade.

Many expat residents of the Central Valley and the Pacfic coast do not realize that some of the furniture producers in Sarchí will custom build furniture to the customer’s specifications.

The project organizers also plan to provide some training for the local business operators.

In another tourism-related announcement, the  Instituto Costarricense de Turismo said it was designating a Ruta Nacional de las Aves for birdwatchers. Costa Rica with its many avian species hosts a number of birdwatchers each year, but the tourism institute has not been aggressive in promoting the country for this purpose. The tourism institute will identify top birdwatching sites, it said.

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