Born in Chichicastenango, Guatemala, Jose Canil learnt his craft from his father. 'When I was younger he would only allow me to sandpaper a piece, and as I got older he would let me paint too. It wasn't until I was older that he'd finally let me carve the wood. I remember well the first piece I ever did completely on my own: an angel. I put it among the things my father took to the market to sell, and then I lost track of it! I hope it got sold to someone who appreciated it because at the time I was only an apprentice.'