The Mexican Hammock Store Story
In 2007 I returned home to New Zealand after 6 months road tripping around Mexico. With help of friends of friends and newly made friends I purchased a car and a map book in Mexico City and set off on my adventure.
From surfing the Pacific Coast to exploring jungle ruins and mountain towns it was the trip of a lifetime and I fell in love with this beautiful country.
Upon returning to New Zealand I regretted not having brought back more Mexican souvenirs, mainly hammocks and blankets which I thought would have made great gifts for family and friends.
So I took a risk and wired money to a small hammock company in Merida, Mexico for a small quantity of hammocks. Quickly selling out through Trademe and on a basic self-made website I've continued to work with this original supplier (Hola Constantino!) and grown ever since.
In 2007 online shopping was pretty limited and poorly executed, but I knew this could be greatly improved. I strove to do better with prompt communication, same day order dispatch and overnight deliveries to most parts of New Zealand. Something the Mexican Hammock Store still strongly focuses on achieving.
Originally based in the Wellington region, then in Tauranga for 9 years, but since 2023 the Mexican Hammock Store has been operating in rural Masterton, with our expanded range of products now including Mexican hammocks, hammock stands, hanging accessories along with Mexican blankets, Baja hoodies, sombreros, ponchos and more.
The hammocks we sell are all traditionally hand-woven by Mayan men and women in the state of Yucatán, México. The work on hammocks is done in order to supplement their family income and provides sustainable employment whilst also helping to preserve the traditional Mayan culture. Since the work is done at home, working conditions are better than in factories and more environmentally friendly. In this way, the weavers can work and take care of their children at the same time. If they want to take a day off for medical, family, or personal reasons, they do so without the need to ask anyone's permission or report to anyone. When they have finished the hammocks, they deliver them to our company representative or our representative goes to their village to collect.
Through our long-term supplier employment is provided to many weavers in remote village areas that don't often have many work opportunities. We believe in Fair Trade principles by paying and rewarding our workers fairly for their skilful hammock weaving. This shows through in the high quality of our hammocks, as our weavers are happy in their work.
We are extremely proud of our loyal hammock supplier in Mérida who has also recently been awarded a Fair Trade Federation Membership, are a certified 'B' Corporation. They have developed and are growing their own non-profit organisation, Fundacion Cielo, whose mission is “working to end the cycle of inter-generational poverty in the Yucatán by improving the health, education and leadership skills of the Yucatan People”. So not only are you getting the most comfortable hammock in the world but you are doing so through a socially responsible, Fair Trade company that is dedicated to improving the lives and communities from which our products come from.
We are exclusive New Zealand distributors and stockists of 'Cielo Hammocks' who are both a Fair Trade Federation Member and B Corporation Company.
The 'Girl Effect' Scholarship
In 2020 we committed to working more closely with the Cielo Foundation to help support their 'Girl Effect' program within the Yucatán region of Mexico. The goal is to empower young women in underserved communities through education and break the poverty cycle. This involves providing individual scholarships for young women throughout their study towards a bachelor's degree. These scholarships last for 5 years and contribute to tuition, mentorship, additional coaching and training, transportation and more to aid these young women in achieving their education goals and potential. We have committed to providing a scholarship for a young woman named Blanca Paloma throughout her nursing studies.
Mexican Hammocks Ltd aims to provides New Zealanders with superior quality hammocks at affordable prices. We want to provide our clients with a unique online experience through an easy to use and informative online store backed up by prompt communication and fast delivery. We strive to improve the lives of the local native Mayan community by providing sustainable employment and fair working conditions.
Above: Mike with part of our team of weavers in Mexico.
For further information please see the following sections;