Artisans from the Aj Chja group create handmade pillows, wall hangings, and textiles using the brocade technique of backstrap weaving. Their designs are rooted in traditional symbols and techniques.
The Community of Quiejel
Quiejel is a small village near Chichicastenango in the Highlands of Guatemala—inhabited by the K'iche' Maya who speak their native language of K'iche. The women in this community wear traditional dress to preserve and celebrate their cultural identity. Their "huipil," the traditional blouse, features designs of plants and animals. This small community values their customs, traditions, beliefs, and practices passed down to them from their ancestors.
History of the Chuwila Group
In 1983, Doña María Tol, Sebastiana Calgua, and Elena Morales came together on their own, recognizing the urgent need to provide a consistent income for the women in their community.
The Group Today
Aj Chja has an active membership base—led by Yolanda Calgua Morales—and respects the unique experiences of each of its members. They meet regularly to discuss new orders and business practices. The cooperative's dream is to one day open up a shop to sell their products in the town of Chichicastenango.
|Take a tour in Quiejel and meet this group of artisans.|