International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

In recognition of International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, we want to highlight a few of the many exceptional women we work with at Maya Traditions.

This date recognizes the first meeting in Geneva in 1982 of the UN Group on Indigenous Populations. The annual celebration is held across the world, from the United Nations Headquarters in New York City to places like Kenya, Peru and Guatemala. It brings awareness and strengthens problem solving to issues that indigenous societies face. We spoke with three women, Isabel, Rosa and Anna Maria, about their cultures. A love for place, community and traditions were at the common core for each of these woman.

Isabel, Maya Traditions’ artisans development program coordinator, is most proud of the region she lives in, Lake Atitlán, which “is a natural wonder that provides resources to support families around it”. This place that Isabel calls home “contains so (much) ancestral knowledge, that its way of life and its connection with Mother Nature is unique. Therefore, we must respect it, admire it and, of course, value it”.

 

Rosa is an artisan in the Los Pinos Cooperative. Rosa spoke of her pride in her community as they came together and worked toward one common goal; the construction of four community water towers. Which is a difficult task for rural communities in Guatemala. Like Isabel, Rosa feels proud of her origins; “we are Mayans, women and men of corn…we are proud to live in open spaces where we can walk and feel the pure air of the trees in the woods, with the singing of the birds, makes us feel happy because we can enjoy the nature of the world at its best.

We also spoke with Ana Maria, a 10th grade sponsored student who is a studying Business Administration. She wants to create her own cultural documentary film and tells us that: “What makes me proud of my community is that it seeks development to excel in all areas. The majority of all women work in waist looms, some women make güipiles and girdles while men work on a foot loom… or in agriculture.”

 

Maya Traditions Foundation hopes to empower more women artisans, more families, and more communities through Fair Trade and Social Programs. We will continue to raise awareness on the ancient art of Mayan weaving.

We believe that International Day of the World’s Indigenous People
is a date to celebrate and honor everyday of the year.

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