ASODIMAC from Guatemala
Proudly displayed in the brilliant cloth of their dresses and head-scarves elaborately twisted around their hair, the Ixil women of Guatemala share a joyous, colorful weaving tradition that is generations old, learned from grandmothers and mothers. They also share a dream of developing their community and educating their children, and they work hard to make it a reality thanks to a weaving fair trade cooperative with the acronym ASODIMAC based out of the village of Pulay.
Like all Ixil women, Feliciana Santiago Perez has been weaving since she learned at age seven. She started out selling her weavings on the streets of a nearby larger town during market days, which kept her away from home and unable to care for her children for two long days a week. Since she joined ASODIMAC six years ago, she is able to weave from home and provide better, more consistent meals while still selling locally and internationally. Feliciana says the kids are doing better in school as a result, and life continues to improve every day.
As the leader of the co-op, Feliciana had a chance to meet with some of her American customers recently, and it brought a tear to her eye. "I never imagine anyone else wearing my products, [but] now that I see them on such lovely people I can only be thankful for the opportunity. I feel proud and thankful."