A week from yesterday we went to Sig Sig to have the first campaign of many while we’re on this trip. A couple days before we had all gone out on a publicidad, where we canvas the town in which we’ll be having the campaign to let everyone know that we’re having eye exams — “totalmente gratis” — as well as selling reading glasses and other products they might need. On the actual day of the campaign we conducted distance and close vision tests for all who came, though we’re not allowed to sell distance glasses or any lenses to children because of governmental restrictions (which makes sense). We sell reading glasses where possible, and in all other cases we give people references to see a nearby optometrist/ophthalmologist at a discount. We also sell people water purifiers for their homes, seeds for personal gardens, sunglasses, energy-efficient lightbulbs, small solar panels and more.
At most campaigns we’re assisted by a local businessperson who has become a partner with Soluciones Comunitarias, as we’re known out in the field. Soluciones Comunitarias gets just enough of the income to cover the cost of all products sold, and the local partner gets the rest. This is the part of the micro-consignment model that aims to create long-term impact by empowering local business owners to gain enough business skills to eventually work independently. Lots of times we partner with women, and it's incredibly satisfying to see just how much their work means to them and their families.