How Ecuadorians take an entire day to weave Panama hat for $5

By Emeh Joy

Wealth creation and income don't come so easily to some people. In some regions of the world, particularly poor or developing countries, inhabitants work their asses off to earn meagre amounts of money.

Panama hats are made in Ecuador. These hats which are handwoven from straws take an entire day for a weaver to finish with one hat after which it is sold for a meagre $5.

According to the Ecuador poverty report documented by in the World Bank eLibrary, Ecuador is an extremely poor country with about 35% of its population living in poverty as of 1994.

Also, about 1.01 million inhabitants of Ecuador are unemployed, Wikipedia says. Poverty here affects almost 70 per cent of non-urban dwellers.

The tedious trade of weaving Panama hats in exchange for 5 dollars has been the major source of income for a particular village in Ecuador.

Watch the video as obtained form Business Insider to see the processes involved in making a Panama hat. It is not just a tedious one but also time-consuming.

According to the Panama hat makers in Ecuador, prices of the Panama hats do differ. The finer straw Panama hats sell for about $20. However, such hats take about 4-5 days to make.

This means the average income of these Ecuador Panama hat makers is 4 dollar per day.

Now, with an increase in the cost of living, you'd expect that this meagre sum won't be enough to sustain lives and this is the reality for this Panama hat makers.

In fact, the people in this small village of Ecuador are starting to lose interest in the trade.

The result is that they start leaving the country in search of greener pastures. How do these group of artisans cope? How will they improve on livelihood?

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