There is an entrepreneurial spirit among the Mayan women in Guatemala that rises above COVID

Backstrap loom Guatemalan guatemalan backpack guatemalan huipil guatemalan huipil purses guatemalan purses huipil Huipil bag huipil bags Mayan women small business small shop weaving

2021 has not started as we had hoped. Around the globe, we long for the normalcy that COVID-19 has stolen.  So many have been affected by the repercussions of this global pandemic and we find ourselves asking what we can do to help. In Guatemala, it is no different for their people; they are facing hardship with an increased severity.

A majority of the weavers in Guatemala are indigenous women who have deep roots with centuries of weaving as tradition and culture. Many indigenous women, who live mainly in rural areas carry a triple burden of being poor, being female, and being indigenous. 

As one of our artisan partners shared, quarantine and curfews have been excruciatingly painful, especially for the indigenous people, who travel much further to work by foot or public transport. They were unable to reach the Markets to sell their goods or obtain weaving materials and huipiles (see other blog posts) to continue their craft from their small home workshops.  

But as most of these women have done all of their lives, they continue to show strength, resilience, comradery, and solidarity as they share possessions and forge ahead using technology in ways that they haven't in the past. Several artisans began social media sites and shops to sell vintage huipiles that would typically be at the famous Market in Chichicastenango on Sunday and Thursday. Many bag makers reached out on social media to introduce themselves and offer their services.  As a result, they got creative in their designs and have made some of the most gorgeous huipil bags the world has ever seen!  And their faith has remained strong throughout as they encourage others.

It has been more important than ever to support small shops and businesses and by supporting Las Bonitas Boutique, you have helped us serve our friends well. We owe a debt of gratitude to you!

Prayers that our efforts against COVID are working, especially for the special people of Guatemala!  Their culture represents the resilience of the people, honor in traditions, ingenuity in combining old and new and a great hope for the future!

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