Artisans from the Los Pinos Cooperative create high-quality hand-woven pine needle baskets and home furnishings from fallen pine needles gathered in their community.
The Community of Patanatic
Patanatic is a small village, located in the hills by Lake Atitlán. The majority of the village residents are K'iche' Maya and speak the language of K'iche', the most widely spoken Maya language in Guatemala. Many of the women wear traditional red "huipiles," traditional blouses, with black and white designs. The red represents the blood that runs through veins of the Maya people, the white the clarity of the day, and the black the sunset. The community remains connected to these cultural symbols—and they serve as an inspiration for the artisans.
History of the Los Pinos Cooperative
The Los Pinos Cooperative was founded in 2007 with support from community leaders and Maya Traditions Foundation. A group of women came together to participate in a pine needle basket weaving class organized by Maya Traditions. There were six original members of the cooperative: Rosa Garcia, Margarita Zapeta, Esperanza Barreno, Heriberta Zapeta, Juana Barreno, and Rosa Zapeta. The cooperative was founded to provide an opportunity for its members to earn additional income, and an education for their children.
The Cooperative Today
Los Pinos Cooperative members work together to create handmade pine needle products as well as tassels and randas, an embroidery stitch used to join textiles. Maya Traditions’ training programs have continuously provided them with new skills, improving their ability to collaborate on income-generating initiatives. As a result of this training, they earn additional income and can send their children to school.
Maya Traditions has helped the group to establish a temazcal, a ceremonial and traditional steam bath used to cleanse body, spirit, and mind.
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