Thursday, November 26, 2009

La Sopa Esta Lista

That´s what our driver Santos said as the women of Xeabaj, Santa Apolonia, Chimaltenango brought their potful of dyed pine needles out of the common house where they prepare materials for the pine baskets sold by Mayan Hands.

We laughed and so did the women.

Visiting them on Tuesday, 11-24, was very special because we were accompanied by both Mayan Hands fieldworkers, Teresa Gomez (who I have written about) and Juana Xiloj. We had a taste of what the fieldwork is like. We heard much more of the particular Mayan language in that region which Juana translated with ease.

The women dye pine needles they collect and then weave with raffia into baskets of different shapes and sizes. Another way of using their consummate skills at creating beautiful things.

Sorry about the lack of images. I will post photos with each entry when I arrive home. Technology is not permitting me to transfer photos from the camera to public computers... so the next time I will have to give you photos with the word.

In that particular visit to Xeabaj, we entered into the altiplano, the highlands. The green fields lay below the house where we watched the women demonstrate techniques, the men worked cultivating lettuce for sale in the market and clouds covered the hillsides wherever we looked. The landscape of agriculture and mountains together amazes me. Picture corn beans and squash cultivated on very steep slopes!

You will love the pictures and thank you for reading.


  1. "la sopa esta lista". ha ha very funny. except i don't get it. my translating program says "the soup this list". maybe that the soup was ready?

    fun to "follow" you, Laura.

  2. Laura,

    you will be thrilled by the latest Maira Kalman. can you get to it?

  3. Sylvie,
    Thanks for your comments! You are right. The translation is the soup is ready... It was funny. This is really an interesting trip. Thanks for the Kalman link. I am going to check it after I post... Be well and hello to everyone in Albany!

  4. What is the language there? How many of them have you travelers worked through? Such a tiny country, so much variety, it seems.

  5. Hi there,
    We have heard five of the 22 different Mayan languages. I think I will do a blog post on that when I get home just to explain. Spanish here is influenced by the native languages too so I find it very unique, very diverse.