About Sierra Madre Research
The name Sierra Madre Research or SMr was chosen to represent this company specifically because of the Sierra Madre mountain range; this range stretches from southern Arizona to Honduras passing through Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador along the way. These mountains cover a massive range of our world’s culture and affect so many lives with their adventure and beauty. Like a spine running through a body of land the Sierra Madre range connects North America to Central America; which symbolizes Sierra Madre Research’s mantra of connecting with people where they are and bringing hope to the hopeless. People, culture, nature, and adventure are a few of the things SMr is passionate about.
In September of 2009, I set off on an adventure to a remote village in Honduras with a group of people intent on spreading the love of Christ and helping care for the medical needs of the poor. While in the midst of the dirt streets of Le Patarique, Honduras it became evident that devastation ran amok here and one of the main contributors was polluted water. “My eyes were opened to a facet of life that I had never even given a second thought, what if every drop of water that went down my throat caused illness instead of refreshment? Would I even want to go on?” I wrote in my journal while on the trip. Water borne illness is the number 1 killer of infants and number 2 killer of children worldwide. Frankly, in this day and age that is unacceptable. Knowing this and seeing it first hand with my own eyes, there was no way that I could ever disregard these facts now, and thus the journey began, with the guidance and grace of my Savior Jesus Christ I have set out to do what so many before me and around me are doing, be an instrument of change.
“A journey of a thousand miles, begins with one step” stated by Lao Tzu.
Step One, gear. While on this trip to Le Patarique I attempted to sleep in a hammock each night, ultimately I was a little disappointed. Like any mechanical engineer my mind automatically started running around the clock, pondering what would make the perfect camping hammock. Ideas started flowing and before I left God had placed incredible plans in front of me; the core of those plans was an outdoor gear company that sells gear for a purpose, clean water. Upon my return I purchased a sewing machine and began making prototypes, in pursuit of the perfect fabric and fit for a camping hammock. Sierra Madre Research or SMr is birthed August of 2010.
Step Two, Manufacture. Fast-forward one year, I find myself in Managua, Nicaragua conversing through a translator with Mrs. Ericka Chavez. Ericka works with a mission organization known as BMDMI, and she helps run a sewing ministry in Managua that teaches men and women a 9-month course in professional stitching. The idea behind this ministry is to provide education and a skill to those without opportunity and give them the ability to work with their own hands; thus enabling them to provide for their own family. Unfortunately I come to find out that due to the economy, jobs are extremely difficult to come by, and when one is found the working conditions are inhumane. It became obvious to me during this conversation that God had joined our paths with great purpose in mind.
Step Three, illuminate. Sierra Madre Research ILLUMINATE S.A. or SMr ILLUMINATE was incorporated in October of 2011 in the city of Managua, Nicaragua. Formed as the SMr production company, but more importantly to shine light into darkness by providing sustainable economic development for graduated sewers coming out of the aforementioned ministry. This company manufactures the majority of SMr’s gear, which gives SMr the ability to monitor the entire production process and implement our own impeccable standard of quality for each product. This also gives reassurance to our customers, that workers being paid good wages and working in a good environment made their product. SMr ILLUMINATE imports hand picked raw materials from all over the world and then gear built with purpose is exported to you via SMr.
Step Four, Launch/Trust/Change… Summary, when you buy SMr gear not only are you receiving superior gear designed by a team of gear snobs, but you are enabling change in our world. SMr employs talented workers at SMr ILLUMINATE in Managua, Nicaragua to make your gear, which in turn allows us to monitor the manufacturing process from start to finish, so you can depend on SMr’s gear day in and day out. SMr ILLUMINATE is aiding in developing sustainable economic change by paying good wages to employees and providing an excellent work environment, thus illuminating a culture that is desperate for hope. In addition to this, SMr has committed to bringing clean water to those without, so with each piece of gear purchased, a percentage goes directly to funding clean water for those without. This is the Core of SMr, to take the hope of Christ to the nations and water to the thirsty. SO why not shop responsibly and make a difference in the world that we share with so many people. Buy Gear / Advocate Change.
Richard G. Rhett Jr.