Maya Traditions Journal > Guatemala

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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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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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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GONGGI, our new and first partner from Asia, visits Maya Traditions in Panajachel!

Posted by on July 24, 2015

We are delighted to share with you our collaboration with Hana and her Fair Trade company GONGGI, our new partner from South Korea and the first from Asia! Hana visited Maya Traditions this week in Guatemala in order to get an in-depth understanding of our partnering communities, the weaving techniques, the impact of Maya Traditions, as well as life and culture in Guatemala. “I have enjoyed my stay in Panajachel very much. The work Maya Traditions’ women weavers make is very impressive. Through visiting two communities, I now have a good understanding of the impact the sales back in Korea will

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Youth Education Update: Sucely Works Towards Her Goals

Posted by on June 26, 2015

Maya Traditions Foundation partners with individual donors to support students–the children of our artisans–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 Sucely Ermelinda Vásquez Perez, son of artisan Vicenta,  shares with us a bit on his life and studies Dear friends, I send you my deepest appreciation for the willingness to support me in my studies. Education is a fundamental right for everyone, and I

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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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Thanks From Alison!

Posted by on June 09, 2015

As I think about leaving beautiful Guatemala, I can’t help but get nostalgic for all of the wonderful people, the beautiful vistas, the vibrant textiles, and most importantly the lessons I have learned and the ways I have grown. Many of these memories are directly connected to my work at Maya Traditions Foundation. My work here over the last year and a half has been transformative for me, and for the foundation. I think that the best way to sum it up is to share a number of thank-yous. Thank you to our wonderful design and retail partners! Working with

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Meet Maya Traditions’ Latest Design Partner: Ara Collective

Posted by on June 08, 2015

“We believe every person—despite the social, economic or geographic situation they were born into—deserves the freedom to discover, to dream andto thrive.” Maya Traditions Foundation is proud to announce an exciting new partnership with social entrepreneur Sarah Contrucci Smith and her new business Ara Collective. Ara Collective is a socially responsible company that works alongside artisans to develop unique, handcrafted products that blend traditional craftsmanship with modern style. In preparation for the launch of her business, Sarah visited Guatemala and traveled to our communities to meet our artisans and observe their work. Growing up in Indonesia, Sarah was provided with the opportunity to learn

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