"Weaving Culture with Opportunity"
Maya Tradition's mission is "to empower and improve the quality of life for Maya women artisans and their families through education-driven social programs and market access to International Fair Trade and artisanal networks with a focus on traditional Maya culture and traditions, contributing to the preservation and promotion of traditional knowledge, art and culture in Guatemala.
...To be a leading Fair Trade social enterprise that enriches community culture, nurtures creative growth and creates opportunities for economic sustainability."
Learn about ikat tying, natural dyes, and the back-strap weaving process, as well as meeting local artisans and sharing a lunch with them in one of their homes. The participants who are interested in learning more about weaving can take a back-strap weaving class with one of the artisans at the office in Panajachel. There is also the option of a one-on-one back-strap weaving course with the artisan, which includes all the materials, a fair payment for the artisan and her transportation, and lunch. It's a great way to connect with an artisan and learn the basics of back-strap weaving, as well as completing a small weaving to take home with you.
"As a nonprofit social enterprise Maya Traditions is dedicated to facilitating access to national and international markets for 180 Maya backstrap weaver artisans and their families in the highlands of Guatemala. Following a Fair Trade Model we continually seek to build capacity in regard to accessing formal education, health care and development of entrepreneurial skills, in a manner that is culturally appropriate and that motivates indigenous women to strengthen their entrepreneurial ecosystems. Maya Traditions' complimentary social programs currently reach out to over 500 family and community members of the artisans with whom we work."
We encourage you to read more about Maya Tradition's values of integrity, respect, transparency, sustainability and quality. Learn about this community-based organization and the tours/classes we will participate in here.
Find out more about Maya Tradition's Education Program, Artisan Development Program, and Community Health Initiative.
Contemporary Mayan textile production
has its roots in the ancient past.
In pre-Columbian culture, the back-strap loom was used to weave thread sprun from native ixcaco cotton and ixtile from the agave plant. In highland Guatemala, each village has its own distinct costume reflecting a melding of old and new.