It started over here, going on a little boat from town to town in beautiful lake Atitlan..
There are many little Mayan towns around the lake, each sweeter than the other, I was just so thrilled because I haven’t had the time to travel around as much as I’d like to, but now that things are falling in place I got to do this trip besides the one to Mexico (((which I have a lot to tell you about by the way)))
When getting to the shore of Santa Catarina Palopó I found them, Elvira and her little sister the first ones from a line of vendors, selling handmade textiles, one of them was weaving a little belt, with small ducks and butterflies, the other one was making a beautiful table runner so intricate I was truly blown away and I couldn’t help but ask them about 300 questions..
In these villages people still speak their own dialects, then later on they learn spanish, is really cool to know that there are places, even today where they keep their culture alive and are so proud of it, I tell you this because between them they spoke the dialect and giggled probably saying “ohhh JESUS! Not againnnnnnn a person asking us 10000 questions” haaa
And they where kind enough to tell me about themselves, told me how they have a 2 year old sister and how they go to school and then afterwards work there, their mom was sick and had to stay home that day so Elvira the oldest one is the boss for the day..
They told me how it takes them 2 weeks to weave a belt, which they sell for 40q ($5), if you actually told them you want it for less they would give you a discount, and well, what can I tell you, I had a lot of mixed emotions as they talked because think about it, they are 9 and 6 years old and they have to work , earning $5 for something that took 2 weeks of labor.. if by now you want to buy everything they’ve made and help them, believe me you are not the only one.. over time most the people I’ve met and to be honest me too.. have to get used to see this.. children working, and I mean working, and tons of them, is not rare to see a 3 year old selling candy in the street by himself or joined by his brother or sister..
The more I stay here, the more I learn about them, about me, there is something we can do, my friend owns this site made to help people from this specific area http://ixcheltextiles.com/ , there are more things going on and plans to do something else to raise money for these families, I will keep you updated.
I’ve been giving it a lot of thought and I’m coming up with a way to help out too, either selling certain pieces and sending the profit to sponsor these children or opening another shop just for this purpose, we will see..
This day I bought some things and they gave me a little lesson on weaving and laughed so hard when I told them my fingers would get tangled and that I could hardly tie my shoes , telling them how much I admired them and how beautiful their things where.. they are very proud of what they do and where really happy and that alone made my day.