Artisans from the Flor Juanera group create bright and colorful backstrap woven textiles with Ikat tying and natural dyeing techniques to make Maya Traditions' scarves, bags, and housewares. These artisans produce sought-after designs and colors with a contemporary twist.
The Community of San Juan La Laguna
San Juan La Laguna is a small town in the department of Sololá, Guatemala on the southwest edge of Lake Atitlán. A beautiful community with over 6,000 residents, the majority are Tz’utujil Maya. Women in San Juan wear "huipiles," traditional blouses, with a design strip around the neck. This design is made up of 24 squares which represents the town’s patron saint. The different colors on the huipil represent the purity and blood of Tz’utujil women, nature, the sky, and the water. Each of these elements are cornerstones to the Maya culture and are prominently featured in their dress.
History of the Flor Juanera Group
The Flor Juanera group, or Xe’ Kuku’ Aab’aj in Tz’utujil, came together in 1992 out of a need for work and to provide a better life for the children of San Juan. Encarnación, Rosario, Celestina, Martina and Nicolasa founded the group with two goals: 1) provide for their families and 2) preserve the Maya Tz’utujil culture.
The Group Today
The Flor Juanera group is made up of 12 artisans. Under the leadership of President Aura Marina Temó, the group meets regularly to discuss orders and other business initiatives. Maya Traditions has helped the group to establish a natural dye and medicinal plant garden. This serves the group by providing a resource to create dyes used in textiles while providing affordable access to traditional health care.
The group as a whole, along with each of its members, has experienced positive economic growth from the training and product orders generated by Maya Traditions. The lives of their children have also improved through the scholarships provided by Maya Traditions Foundation.
|Take a tour in San Juan La Laguna and meet this group of artisans.|