Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Living with beauty

I have been living with Mayan Hands products for quite a few years now. We have two large tablecloths (both gifts from generous friends), placemats we use every day at our kitchen island (they wear so well) and a beautiful table runner that I put on a painted dresser in our main room.

The colors make me happy. The work of human hands warms my soul and my home. The quality of the goods has always impressed me. I feel connected to craftswomen who have the dignity of work. I have been a contented customer.

In April 2009, Brenda Rosenbaum (founder of Mayan Hands) asked my husband Ricardo and I to join her board. We considered it and answered an enthusiastic: Yes! We have both known Brenda since her time as an anthropologist at UAlbany, before we were married.

So far, we have contributed some time at Board meetings, worked at a sale and helped pack for the busy season of fall church and community sales in the Albany, NY area. We are enjoying getting to know a very committed group of workers and volunteers.

Tomorrow, I will be able to make the connection between the products I have lived with, a Fair Trade organization I have admired and the women who produce the weavings in Guatemala. I expect I will learn what my guidebook describes is the “terrible beauty” of the country after a score of years of warfare. My eyes are wide open. It is through darkness we enter the light.

What a priviledge. Thank you.

A friend asked how she could help Mayan Hands. How? It’s easy. Do some of your holiday shopping at a sale or on the website at

I think you will find something you’d like to give or get on the website.

The colors will inspire you, you’ll be supporting a women’s empowerment project and you will be living with the beauty of something handmade. When I return, I will be hosting a home sale in December… stay posted for the date.

And have fun! I will too…

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