In the heart of Mexico, there is an industrial city called Leon. For decades, Leon has played a quiet, integral role in creating high quality leather goods for some of the largest retail brands. Our goal at Ala Pilar is to engage Mexican industries at the ground level and to showcase the artisanal talent in Leon and throughout Mexico. From the production of leather, to the hands that sew each item together - every bag from Ala Pilar holds a beautiful piece of Mexico the we want to share with the rest of the world. Ala Pilar is a collaborative leather brand that promotes the multicultural heritage of both the US and Mexico. Aesthetically, Ala Pilar marries old world Mexican craftsmanship with contemporary American style and design.
We became close friends as pre-teens living in a small California town, bonding over similar career pursuits, first in sports and then in law. With age came an awareness of the cultural differences in our daily lives - Juan Jose having landed back in his hometown of Mexico City and me (Lindsey) in the Silicon Valley. Through our years of friendship we have waxed poetic on many things - culture, history, music, style, design, family.... Ala Pilar is the result of those conversations, our creative outlet to discuss the world around us. Our hope is that it will also serve as a platform to blend our cultures in a modern, dynamic way. "Preservation of one's own culture does not require contempt or disrespect for other cultures." - Cesar Chavez
Ala Pilar is rooted in its Mexico/US identity not only to make gorgeous products, but to embody a spirit of mutual respect. Because of this, we have partnered with an organization that lives by this precept. Started by a southern California family and operating in Mexico City, El Pozo de Vida (The Well of Life) is fighting to end human trafficking in Latin America and all over the world.
The El Pozo Rescue Home in Mexico City helps victims of sex trafficking through prevention, intervention, job training, advocacy and restoration. This safe place serves as a refuge to restore women and children who have been victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking and allows them to enter a holistic rehabilitation program, where they receive medical attention, legal consulting, psychological care and education. El Pozo de Vida also pursues many other avenues to advocate awareness and is an active participant in the Mexican legislative movement against trafficking.
Even with government collaboration and ties to other safe homes in Mexico (there aren't many), El Pozo's work has only scratched the surface. This global issue continues to terrorize countless, voiceless victims. Ala Pilar is proud to partner with El Pozo de Vida in the global movement to end modern day slavery.
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"There is but one way to end evil - by rendering good for evil to all men without distinction.” - Leo Tolstoy