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Flor Clarense of Santa Clara

Artisans from the Flor Clarense Cooperative use the technique of crochet to create handmade wallets, hackey sacks, and more.

The Community of Santa Clara

Santa Clara La Laguna is located in the mountains above Lake Atitlán. The small town are primarily K’iche Maya and speak the Maya language of K’iche. Their traditional dress, or “traje,”a black background with a red cross is rich in symbolism. The black represents the sunset, the darkness, the end of a journey, and the anticipation of a new day. The red represents the blood spilled by the final K’iche kings in their courageous final battles. The symbol of the cross on the “corte,” or traditional skirts, celebrates the four cardinal points. The “traje” is a cornerstone of culture and community, and gives community members a shared identity as “Clareños,” residents to Santa Clara.

The History of the Flor Clarense Cooperative

The women first joined together in 1995 to participate in reforestation trainings presented by a local community organization. During the training, a facilitator inquired about the skills of the women and they shared that they could weave, crochet, and create bags. This facilitator then connected them with Maya Traditions’ founder Jane Mintz, as an opportunity for the women to share their products with an international market. The initial cooperative of  twenty women were motivated to provide their families with the opportunity to live a life with dignity, and an opportunity to use their skills.

The Cooperative Today

The Flor Clarense Cooperative meets regularly to discuss how they can better support one another, improve their products, and access trainings and growth opportunities. Their aspiration is to improve the quality of their artisanal goods and ensure economic stability for their families. Through Maya Traditions’ training, they have increased their households’ income, empowering each woman and their families.

Meet Luisa, an artisan from the Flor Clarense Cooperative in Santa Clara

Member of the
World Fair Trade Organization