August 7th, 2014
Hearts working together!
This last week was crazy!
We have been dyeing , winding and packing to get more kits ready.
We were expecting the Handwoven magazine article until september, but for some reason we don’t understand, the article came out earlier.
So that’s why we only had some kits ready. But we have been working a lot to send more kits as soon as possible! We finished 117 kits yersterday! Now we just need to wait for them to arrive to the U.S.!!!!
This project started like 5 years ago, and since then, a lot of volunteers have been working to make this possible.
Catharine Ellis and Donna Brown came down here last year to teach the women more about Natural Dyes, and then last march Donna Brown came back for a week with Diane de Souza and me.
The towels were designed by Sarah H. Jackson.
Irene Schmoller from Cotton Clouds is helping to sell the kits without any profits at all.
There’s also all the Mayan Hands team in the U.S (Anne Kelly and Mary Joan), in Guatemala city (Julio Cardona), and Brenda Rosenbaum, the founder of Mayan Hands.
And of course Deborah Chandler, this couldn’t have been posible without her.
All this people working together to make this Project succeed!
The kit includes 11 balls dyed with different Natural Dyed colors: Dark cochineal, light cochineal, osage orange, natural, madder, light indigo, dark indigo and osage orange+indigo (green).
It also includes the instructions on how to weave 4 beautiful towels.
But of course we couldn’t be talking about this Project and the Friendship towels without this 5 incredible women: Fulgencia, Berta, Abelina, Elvira and Gilberta.
They had faith in this Project since the beginning, and they have continued working hard, even if they didn’t have any profit on the beginnning.
This last week we discovered I should have been spending 13 days instead of 12 on each women’s house. So I returned one more day with each one of the women.
Just like a perfect review for you to meet them:
They all go to school but the boys need to work some days by night, making bread. Glenda has a Mayan Hands scholarship. Her husband works in Guatemala city, and he only comes home every two weekends.
They have a beautiful house on the other side of the river. It’s called Chisaliá.
I could describe Fulgencia as a joyful woman! She is very responsable, she always arrives on time and she really pays attention to the details. His husband is very good at fixing things, so they also fix bicycles and different things.
The children are always helping their mother. They all like winding balls! Glenda has learned how to weave from her mother, it’s amazing to see how the knowledge passes from one generation to another. Between them, they only speak in “achi” (mayan dialect), but they spoke to me in Spanish.
She’s is a single woman, she decided not to get married, so he lives with their parents and youngest sisters.
She takes care of her nephew, he’s one year old.
She is very funny and smart!
It’s easier for me to communicate with her! In this house they speak achí, but also a lot of spanish. She has two younger sisters living in that house. Miriam is 16 and she’s in highschool and Irma must be like 23, she’s studying at the universtiy to become a professor. We really got along well!
They live on the mountains, far away. To go to town we needed to walk like 30-35 minutes and then take a pick up. That’s the same for Fulgencia and Abelina. They have hens and chickens to sell, as well as pigs.
She is Berta’s sister, she lives just next door. She has 4 children. Three girls: Mishel (8 ), Karen (14) , Leyli (19) and one boy: Edwin ( 16).
Leyli has a Mayan Hands scholarship.
I got along very well with those girls, specially Mishel! Abelina’s husband also works in Guatemala city, he spends some time in here and some time in the city.
In this house they only speak in spanish!!
Abelina is always smiling and making jokes.
She is also very good at math, and she is kind of the secretary of the group. She is charge of writing everything down on a notebook. (all the dyeing procedures)
Elvira lives closer to town. To go to town you only need to get a pick up ( you don’t need to walk between the mountains).
She has 2 boys: Misael (12) and the oldest one ( 14).
Her husband left to the U.S eight years algo , but she barely hears from him. She’s alone to do all the tasks, because she doesn’t have any girls, to help her cook or clean.
She wakes up very early in the morning to milk the cow, and then she makes cheese to sell. Her parents leave very close to her, like 10 minutes away.
She’s always very busy feeding the ducks, hens, pigs, and taking care of her children. We dye at her house, this is the place where we have been dyeing since the beginning!
I haven’t lived with her yet. Maybe this weekend!
She’s finishing her house!!! She will have a new house to live! Exciting! So we are waiting for her to finish it, so that I could go spend my last days with her.
She is a very joyful and active woman!
She is the leader of the weavers, she started the Weaving Project like 12 years ago.
She has one daughter! She’s already and adult.
They are all very honest, kind and responsable women!! and they all want to improve their income, so their children could have a better way of life.
And of course, they all get along very well! They are very good friends.
This was a longer post, but it was worthed, for you to be able to get closer to this women. Next week I’ll be going to Gilberta’s…
I only have a week and a half left!
THIS JOURNEY IS ALMOST FINISHED!
Don’t miss my last stories!