Maya Traditions Journal

Youth Education Update: Ana Maria Churunel Morales

Posted by on October 01, 2015

Since 1997, Maya Traditions has supported the children of our artisan partners through our Youth Education Program. Here, volunteer Marlene shares her experience meeting student Ana Maria Churunel Morales: Two chicken busses, one pickup truck, and a ten minute walk to get to the community of Chuacruz, a rural town filled with corn fields, tucked in the countryside near Sololá. I traveled to Chuacruz with Maya Traditions’ staff member Marisol to meet with the local weaving cooperative and a few of our artisan partners’ children. Ana Maria was one of them. At 15, she is a very friendly and sweet

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Youth Education Update: German

Posted by on September 29, 2015

Due to the high cost of inscription and monthly fees of university, many indigenous families are unable to send their children on to university. Maya Traditions Foundation partners with organizations and individual donors to support students–the children of our artisans–attend university. We are working to increase our impact and the amount of university scholarships we are able to offer. Here, student German Cristóbal Macario Morales, son of artisan Elena,  shares:  The work that Maya Traditions is doing through the Youth Education Program  has allowed me to continue my studies and work to make my dreams come true. I am currently enrolled in my second semester of university,

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Meet Volunteer Rachel!

Posted by on September 24, 2015

The success of our work at Maya Traditions is made possible through the constant support of volunteers. Here, we introduce volunteer Rachel who is currently supporting our work in Guatemala:  Hi! My name is Rachel, I’m 24 years old and a Graphic Designer from North Carolina. I will be assisting Maya Traditions in the area of Graphic Design! I am very excited to help Maya Traditions establish a visual identity and be able to share the stories of the incredible Maya artisans through design. I will be volunteering until the middle of January and I am so excited for all that is ahead.

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In order to break the cycle of poverty, Guatemala needs to drastically improve its education system

Posted by on September 17, 2015

At Maya Traditions, we believe that education lays the foundation to a positive and successful development of each individual – mentally and physically. Through education, children and youth learn how to critically analyze their personal, political, and economic environments. Education also helps develop personality—along with strengths, confidence, and creativity— supporting individuals make thoughtful decisions in the short- and long-term. We are convinced that educating youth and children provides the most important foundation for respect, equality, justice, peace, and freedom within a country. As James Garfield said: “Without education, neither freedom nor justice can be maintained.” Today, Guatemalan youth face increasingly difficult conditions,

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A Day in the Life of an Indigenous Maya Family

Posted by on September 10, 2015

What does the everyday life of an indigenous Guatemalan family look like? Our volunteers Bethany and Marlene share their experiences: Saqarik! Which means “Buenos Dias!” in the indigenous Maya language of K’iche, spoken in northwestern Guatemala. While spending a weekend in the rural community of Quiejel, we learned a few important words and phrases of this beautiful, yet challenging language. We are Bethany, 31, and Marlene, 29, both volunteers with Maya Traditions, and would like to share with you our experience of spending a weekend in a rural indigenous community! Yolanda, the leader of the CHUWILA cooperative located in Quiejel—outside

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Collaborating with WINGS to Strengthen Local Midwives’ Knowledge on Sexual Health and Reproductive Rights

Posted by on September 02, 2015

The current situation in Guatemala in terms of social and economic development – especially within indigenous communities–is often described as critical. In comparison to its Latin American counterparts, Guatemala has extremely high rates of maternal mortality, gender inequality, poverty, and childhood malnutrition. The Guardian recently reported that last year, 5,100 girls under 15 became pregnant in Guatemala. “Cultural practices, lack of education, endemic violence, and the hold of the Catholic church over decisions on reproductive health make girls in Guatemala easy prey for abuse and vulnerable to early pregnancy’’ (The Guardian 2015). During our recent clinics in different rural communities, we

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Working Towards Fair Trade Principle #9

Posted by on August 24, 2015

As members of the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), we at Maya Traditions are working to guarantee that our practices follow the 10 Principles of Fair Trade outlined by the WFTO. The 9th Fair Trade Principle states: Organizations which produce Fair Trade products maximize the use of raw materials from sustainably managed sources in their ranges, buying locally when possible. No one can deny that environmental consciousness is a necessity to satisfy consumers in today’s modern market. At Maya Traditions we recognize the importance of protecting the natural environment of Guatemala in the following ways: Backstrap weaving is inherently environmentally friendly

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Community Health Program Update: Quiejel Clinic

Posted by on August 17, 2015

Our Community Health Program, first launched in 1997, works to preserve and promote traditional Maya medicine and knowledge and the use of medicinal plants to treat common illnesses in rural communities in Guatemala. This June, we were able to hold our second annual clinic in our artisan partner community of Quiejel, Chichicastenago, Quiché. A total of 73 patients attended the clinic, most of whom were women and children. Marisol Morales Calel, responsible for the Youth Education and the Community Health Programs with Maya Traditions Foundation, shares her experiences here: What is the goal of the day clinic? “We are working

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Meet Volunteer Marlene!

Posted by on August 08, 2015

The success of our work at Maya Traditions is made possible through the constant support of volunteers. Here, we introduce volunteer Marlene who is currently supporting our work in Guatemala:  Hola! My name is Marlene, I am German and 29 years old. For the next two months, I will be supporting Maya Traditions in several Marketing activities. I have a bit more than three years practical experience in Marketing as well as theoretical experience due to my Master studies. I decided to leave my job in Germany and travel to Guatemala about six months ago. My goal was to take a

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MALENA visited Maya Traditions and experienced “the most beautiful products in Guatemala”

Posted by on August 06, 2015

Flynn, founder of our partner organization MALENA, visited Maya Traditions this week at our headquarters in Panajachel, Guatemala. “It has been amazing to spend time with the artisans in the cooperatives, to see their wonderful work, and to learn more about their lives and stories. Their artisan products are the most beautiful I have seen in Guatemala.” While traveling to our cooperative in San Juan La Laguna, taking a tour through our medicinal plant garden, and experiencing various Maya traditions in and around Panajachel, Flynn has received an in-depth experience and understanding of the hard work and life of indigenous women and their

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Member of the
World Fair Trade Organization