Waqxaqi’ Kan of Chuacruz

Artisans from the Waqxaqi' Kan Cooperative are famous for creating ikat dots and small weavings. This group from the Sololá region creates textile with a modern edge and is a popular choice for bags and small accessories.

The Community of Chuacruz

Chuacruz is a small, rural village in the mountains by Lake Atitlán, close to the city of Sololá. The community members are Kaqchikel Maya and speak the language of Kaqchikel. The women from this picturesque village wear "huipiles," the traditional blouse, which feature bright colors and traditional designs. The reds represents the blood of their ancestors, the green the plants and animals of the region, the black darkness and night, and the white the purity of Maya women. Each of the colors tells a story and connects the textiles to the cultural history of the region.

History of the Waqxaqi' Kan Cooperative

Waqxaqi´Kan was founded in 1982 on "8 Kan," a date in the Maya calendar when the female artisans first came together. During the civil war in Guatemala, this community experienced much violence and many women were left widows. In order to support their families and rebuild their community, the women joined together to seek economic opportunity. Under the leadership of founders Antonia Panjoj Guarcax, Petrona Chumil, Lucia Pablo, Marcela Ibaté, and Dominga Orozco, Waqxaqi' Kan was able to establish relationships with several business, including Maya Traditions, to ensure that the artisans were able to move forward with their families and community.

The Cooperative Today

Today the Waqxaqi' Kan Cooperative continues under the leadership of original founder Antonia Panjoj. Dedicated to transparency and equality, the cooperative elects new leadership every two years. The current dream of this cooperative is to integrate new members in order to generate more orders and provide additional opportunities for artisans and their families.

Take a tour in Chuacruz and meet this group of artisans.

Learn more about backstrap weaving techniques here.

Professional interviews can be arranged for partners and sponsors.

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Meet Matea, an artisan from the Waqxaqi' Kan Cooperative in Chuacruz