Maya Traditions Journal

Customer Spotlight: Kendyll Gage-Ripa

Posted by on March 13, 2015

We’ve asked Maya Traditions’ Fair Trade customers & supporters to send us stories and pictures on how they’re using our products and textiles. Here, designer Kendyll shares a bit about her latest visit to Guatemala and what she’s doing with our Fair Trade backstrap woven textiles. Hello! My name is Kendyll Gage-Ripa and I’m a 25 year old self-employed clothing designer based out of Chappaquiddick in Massachusetts. My business is just starting out, and currently I design and create all my garments myself. I use a combination of salvaged and new fabrics with an emphasis on natural materials. The garments are based

Read More

What Happens When Two Cultures Unite Because of an Old Pair of Jeans?

Posted by on March 12, 2015

What did you do with your last pair of old, rugged jeans? Artists Mark Vennegoor and Rebeca Vennegoor-Solares, a couple from Holland, came to Maya Traditions to implement a unique pilot project that gives new life to old pairs of jeans, “The idea of this project is to raise awareness of the clothes we use. In the Western world, it’s very common to buy clothes and throw them away, there is no connection to or appreciation for our clothes. The concept of the project is to change this habit, and combine the pants with the Maya culture, to give these

Read More

Artisan Development Program Update

Posted by on March 10, 2015

As a part of our strategic plan, we are working to enhance our Artisan Development Program. Program Coordinator, Isabel Chalcú, is spearheading this project and excited to share some of what she has been working on. The current focus of the Artisan Development Program is to learn more about our artisan and better understand their needs. Working with the majority of our artisans for over twenty years has shown us how their needs are constantly changing. In order to strengthen our relationship with them and understand how they view their current quality of life, Isabel, with support from local university intern

Read More

Supporting the Growth of Youth Leaders with Unlocking Silent Histories

Posted by on February 26, 2015

Donna DeGennaro, Founder & Director of our partner Unlocking Silent Histories(USH) reflects on the past, describes her hopes for the future, and shares exciting new developments with the USH: Maya Traditions Chapter. We are currently fundraising for USH for 2015. Join USH & Maya Traditions, be part of the story:  This March marks the 1.5-year anniversary of Unlocking Silent Histories non-profit status and just passes the date that begins our third year partnering with Maya Traditions.  In some ways our beginning seems like yesterday.  At the same time, the numerous milestones and events that we can count make it feel like we have been

Read More

Maya Traditions Featured on Marketplace

Posted by on February 25, 2015

In January 2015, Maya Traditions’ team welcomed reporter Laurie Stern to our office in Panajachel, Sololá, Guatemala. After brief correspondence via email and phone, Laurie was interested in capturing our story at Maya Traditions and sharing it with the world. Through sitting in on client meetings to traveling to the rural community of Quiejel, Chichicastenago during an artisan and student meeting, Laurie was able to fully grasp the importance of our relationships with our artisans and our customers. As consumer demand for Fair Trade and ethical products increase, we are seeing an increase in inquiry from businesses and designers from around the

Read More

Introducing the New Corte Collection

Posted by on February 25, 2015

We at Maya Traditions are thrilled to share our new Corte Collection of leather-trimmed bags designed by Maya Traditions intern Averie Floyd and produced by our skilled artisans. The collection includes a backpack, two styles of tote bags, a clutch and a new brocade textile design.            “Whether you are heading to class, work, or an evening out, you will carry the tradition of Guatemala with you when you use any of the bags from the Corte collection. The folds seen in these designs were inspired by the way women fold their traditional corte skirts in Guatemala and

Read More

Julia Dreams of Being a Lawyer

Posted by on February 24, 2015

Each year, Maya Traditions Foundation supports a select group of students–the children of our artisans–to attend university. Due to the high cost of inscription and monthly fees of university, many indigenous families are unable to send their children on to university. We are working to increase our impact and the amount of university scholarships we are able to offer. Here student Julia María Barreno, daughter of artisan Rosa from Patanatic, shares with us a bit on her studies.  My name is Julia María Barreno and I would like to share with you to my new life experience. I am a student of

Read More

Maya Traditions’ Garden Products Grow with Support from Volunteers

Posted by on February 23, 2015

With support from volunteer Grace Macneil, Maya Traditions Foundation will now be producing soaps and salves made with plants found in our Organic Medicinal Plant Garden. With this, we hope to increase access to natural products made with medicinal plants locally.  Grace, a certified traditional herbalist, has been working with medicinal plants for twenty years. In Indiana, USA, Grace has a 25 acre farm where she grows organic medicinal herbs, vegetables, and raises animals to produce dairy products and meat. Just as we use our medicinal plant garden to support our healers & artisans, Grace uses her farm as a

Read More

Enhancing Lives Through Social Media

Posted by on February 20, 2015

“How many hours do you spend on Facebook, or Instagram or browsing through the latest twitter posts? According to the Business Daily, the average American spends 23 hours a week scrolling through news feeds, watching videos and liking posts through various social media platforms! This is staggering information, but it points us to a very true reality: social media provides the opportunity to connect like never before. The only problem is, with so many businesses using social media to educate consumers, it can be challenging to make your business stand out”. Hey there! My name is Sarah and I am

Read More

Empowering Artisans & Healers Through Tourism

Posted by on February 09, 2015

Maya Traditions Foundation has been partnering with local NGO Entremundos to further develop and strengthen our Community Tourism Program. According to the First Principle of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), a Fair Trade Organization must focus on creating opportunities for economically disadvantaged producers. Our workshop series with Entremundos does just that, further providing economic generating activities for our artisans and healers. Through our connection with Entremundos, our artisans and healers learned how to create a business plan, administer a basic community tourism plan, and how to treat visitors, whatever the cultural differences may be. The ultimate objective of this

Read More

Member of the
World Fair Trade Organization