Encantado Jewelry

About me

Hi! I’m Lilia!!!

I lived in Bogota, Colombia for five years, and absolutely fell in love with the artisan markets and people. I though there had to be a way to share this beautiful craft with my friends and family in the US and bring benefit to the different NGO’s I was helping. And so Encantado jewelry was born.

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Tagua is a seed from a palm tree that grows in the Colombian and Ecuadorian Amazon, and it grows in three different sizes. Called “vegetable ivory,” the uses of this seed range from figurines, inlay on guitars, and jewelry.

Here is a video talking about how Tagua is harvested and processed: https://youtu.be/8eCZfPiRJws

I buy the seeds in Colombia, and then hand-craft each piece of jewelry.

Fundación Buena Semilla (the good seed foundation)

One of the NGO’s that this jewelry supports is in a neighborhood of Bogota that was famous for gangs and drugs. When I lived in Bogota, a local church bought one of the houses in the neighborhood and turned it into an after-school and feeding program for kids. I used to take middle-school students there every month to run activities and teach a skill, and we always had a blast!!!

Since then, the foundation has grown to have a full-time staff of volunteer artists and makers from all over the world to teach carpentry, gardening, fiber arts, and graffiti arts. Now, former gang members proudly give tours of their barrio’s graffiti murals, and permaculture gardens.


The Bridge

One of the volunteers from Buena Semilla realized that there was a huge need for refugee kids and students with learning difficulties to get the help they need to be able to get caught up in school. She started her own foundation, in the heart of Bogota, to help the kids who would more than likely drop out of school. The success stories out of The Bridge are more than just academic, however, as kids are learning how to develop friendships and have healthy relationships with adults. Many of these kids have faced incredible trauma, and The Bridge has given them the foundation of safety and trust that they need to be able to learn and grow in healthy ways.

The founder writes:

A mother spoke with me today requesting permission for her daughter to miss two weeks at The Bridge so they could straighten out their papers in Venezuela. As we discussed options on how that would be handled she said, “Oh we’re coming back! I will not allow her to lose her spot here. She has learned so much. She came here knowing nothing. We came from Venezuela and she hadn’t been in school and she has learned so much in the time that she has been here.”

It does the heart good to hear things like that every now and then.

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