Maya Traditions Journal > artisans

Stories That Inspire Us

Posted by on June 15, 2015

Maya Traditions was born from strong partnerships with cooperatives of indigenous female artisans. Today, these relationships remain central to our work and mission. This month, we asked our staff to share stories that have impacted them personally and inspire them on a daily basis. Here, we share a few of their responses: Spotlight: Marta  I have been working with Maya Traditions only since March of this year, but when we were asked to write about an experience with an artisan that inspired us, I knew I already had many stories to choose from. I have had the priviledge of interacting and

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Artisan Spotlight: Francisca Tzep Cotiy

Posted by on May 18, 2015

On a recent trip to the community of Nahuala, we sat down with Francisca to hear her story. She is an inspirational woman who creates the most beautiful textiles. Here is a little bit about her! What is your name?  Francisca Tzep Cotiy How old are you? 38 years old. Tell us about your family.  I have a husband who works in construction and two sons who are 13 and 18 years old Where do you live? In the small village of Palanquix Guachiaquib´, which is a part of the community of Nahuala. When and how did you learn to weave?

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Meet Our New Partners–The Thread Caravan!

Posted by on April 30, 2015

We are excited to announce a new partnership with The Thread Caravan, a business that will offer art workshops around the world. By participating, individuals learn about traditional craft production, while also experiencing scenery and adventures unique to each destination. The first destination is Guatemala, where participants will learn the art of backstrap weaving with our artisans at Maya Traditions Foundation. Here, founder Caitlin Ahern shares a bit about The Thread Caravan:   Hi, I’m Caitlin, an artist with a passion for travel and helping others. I’m merging these interests by creating The Thread Caravan. Our comprehensive travel packages take participants to different communities around the

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Celebrating Fashion Revolution Day

Posted by on April 24, 2015

Two years ago today, the Rana Plaza collapsed, leading to the worst industrial disaster in Bangladesh’s history.  1,133 workers lost their lives and over 2,500 others were wounded. This event exposed the harsh realities of the garment industry that many of us have heard about, but chose to ignore. It also spurred an international movement and conversation about who is making our clothes and the conditions they face at work every day. We at Maya Traditions are excited to be a part of this movement by celebrating and preserving the art of backstrap weaving and by providing an alternative, ethical

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Working Towards Fair Trade Principle #3

Posted by on March 23, 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. In addition to working towards these goals, we love sharing with you—our international family, the hard work we are doing.Principle #3 of the WFTO states that organizations trade with concern for the social, economic and environmental well-being of marginalized small producers and does not maximize profit at their expense. As we grow Maya Traditions with support from our community, we are working towards this principle in three ways: Strong relationships

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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

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Understanding the Techniques: The Natural Dying of Threads

Posted by on October 09, 2014

Design Intern Averie Floyd here! I recently took a natural dyeing class with Cecilia in San Juan, where they are known for their beautiful naturally dyed colors. It was interesting to experience the whole process first hand.  Here are the steps involved in creating naturally dyed products: The first step is to buy or find our natural dyestuffs, or ingredients that can be used to create dye colors. We decided to work with Palo Campeche, or logwood. Cecilia and the rest of the group use a variety of other products including coffee and guava leaves, marigold and even and even

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