Profile of CONTIGO´s partner Montezuma

Supply Chain

Trading Partner: SAPIA, ccordinator
Producer: Montezuma, microenterprise
Structure: own workshop, associated workshops
Trade way: direct Import CONTIGO via SAPIA

Von Sandona nach Goettingen

Sandona to Göttingen (Source: Google Earth)


Panama hats


Sandoná (ca. 520km south west from Bogotá, near the border to Ecuador), Colombia – distance to Europe: 9,700km

Founded in 1985


  • 1985: Business founded by America Montezuma, she learnt the traditional craft of weaving hats from her mother
  • Due to slow local sales members of the business attend a trade fair in Bogota (Expoartesanias)
  • Daughter Aide gets involved in the business, orders rise
  • 2005: Partnership with Sapia starts, one of Montezuma’s biggest clients, panama hats can be exported

Cooperation with CONTIGO since 2013

Structure of the business

Number of employees:

  • 5 full-time employeesMontezuma_3
  • Cooperation with 5 workshops and some single weavers
    • Locations of hat production: district of Nariño, municipality of Consaca, Linares and Sandoná
    • Depending on the order situation up to 30 people can be employed


In the main workshop in Sandoná:

  • The delivered semi-finished hats from the workshops are completed (pressing into shape, sewing works, attaching hat bands)
  • Payment: agreed piece rate

External workshops and individual weavers:

  • Receive the raw material from Montezuma (depending on design: coloured straw, hat shapes/circumferences, other elements)
  • Receive financial support/advance payments (if necessary)
  • Single weavers produce at home
  • Payment: agreed piece rate
  • Ivan Montezuma visits the workshops at least 1x/week, task: quality control

Background information:

  • For most weavers this activity is a sideline besides their actual work in agriculture (e.g. coffee harvesting), or in the household


  • Home market (60%)
  • Exports (40%) to Germany


  • To develop new designs
  • To increase orders volume

Special features

Why does CONTIGO work with Montezuma: The company produces hats of superior quality. CONTIGO wants to support them in achieving their goals and provide more people with jobs.


Fairtrade classification

FTA = Fairtrade Approved


Fairtrade aspects

Montezuma complies with the following Fairtrade Principles:

No child labour

No discrimination

No discrimination due to gender, disability, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, political orientation, or infection with HIV

Fair wages

  • Minimum wage in the region: € 100Montezuma_6
  • Wage at Montezuma: € 140-160
    • Full-time employees and weavers (from the external workshops) receive agreed piece rate
  • Weekly payment of workers in cash

Humane working conditions

Working hours:

  • 5.5 days/week


  • SAR (Self Assessment Report) was duly submitted to CONTIGO


Personal visits in Sandoná (2015)


Country information

See Encyclopaedia Britannica: Colombia



Montezuma_2 Montezuma_1 Montezuma_5 Montezuma_7
Montezuma_4 Sombreros1 Sombreros3 Sombreros2

Author: Janina Lange on 30. April 2018

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