Juntos Project: Smart Fashion & Functional Beauty

Frankie Picasso and the Good Radio Network speaks to Mauricio Laniades, the young entrepreneur and CEO of Juntos Shoes and the Juntos Project.

juntos shoes
Mauricio manufactures the iconic El Zapato de Lona, the Ecuadorian street shoe! The flip-flop is to Rio, is like this simple canvas lace-up is to cities like Guayaquil, Ecuador. The shoe is worn by the the working class, day in, day out– part functional-necessity, part social-signifier.

Mauricio and Juntos has redesigned and re-purposed this iconic shoe so that anyone can enjoy  wearing them. That’s the Smart Fashion part. The Functional Beauty part is that for every shoe sold, a school age child in Ecuador will receive a bright Yellow education pack filled with crucial school supplies–  a small way that Juntos gives back to the places where they say they found their inspiration.

Mauricio was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, but moved to Florida as a young child. He grew up in a middle class home in the USA and spent his summers playing soccer and visiting family back home in Ecuador.

Eventually he attended Syracuse University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship and a Minor in Information Systems. Mauricio went back to teach in Ecuador and it was then that the idea of helping these kids took root.

Today, Juntos is growing and with over 1000 pairs of shoes sold, 1000 education packs have been delivered to the youth of Ecuador.

Mauricio puts the map of Ecuador inside every pair of shoes, so that EVERYONE will remember where these beautiful shoes come from. Juntos says this is the real meaning of an Ethical Footprint!

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