Latin handmade art- Guatemala the city of colors

22 06 2009

Guatemala, a culture of strong Mayan and Spanish influences.  The contrast between poor Mayan villagers in the rural highlands, and the urbanized mestizos population who occupy the cities and surrounding agricultural plains is vast and deep as it is commonly found in other parts Latin America.  Our focus takes us to the Mayan crafters, Indigenous women, who are talented;  as you have seen in some of the bracelet work shown here- completely handmade and one of kind.  However, there is a dark side to this short story. These group happens to be the most vulnerable group in society. Poverty and inequality are considerable, rates of literacy are low, and the women are often subjected to violence in their homes.

We found a group “DEMI (the ombudsman institution for Indigenous women)” who is working to strengthen women’s rights, for example through educational activities, and the provision of legal assistance and counseling services.   Our hope is that through more education, we will continue to see the old craft traditions being passed to the new generations, better living conditions, and better access to nutrition.

One of my fondest memories as a young kid, takes me to the local markets in Guatemala where my father would take us on family vacations.  These small adventures traveling from country to country left a long lasting and caring impression of several countries but especially of Guatemala, their people, heritage, and amazing handmade art.  We are finally at a point in our lives where we can proudly say that we want to be part of the movement, and to make a difference by doing our part in supporting these groups by continuously giving work to produce these amazing handmade bracelets.  It’s a mall step, but we are proud of it.

How would I describe Guatemala? Someone asked me once.  I would say, Guatemala is the country of colors…

Antigua- Guatemala

Antigua- Guatemala

US buses converted for local transportation

US buses converted for local transportation

Mayan woman

Mayan woman

San Felipe - Guatemala

San Felipe - Guatemala

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