That´s how the rest of my group spent yesterday. I am curious to see them this morning after their unplanned night out in a village since the road was closed to Panajachel. I returned at midday with Mayan Hands accountant, Julio Cardona who was kind enough to give me a ride back to the hotel since I was feeling under the weather.
Fine now but really curious about the night out in the village.
Our visit yesterday in the morning to Vasconcelos was quite interesting. The women their make many of the fine table runners, jaspe and honeycomb weave, that Mayan Hands has available for sale.
The group of about 10 women gave us a demonstration of how they wash and prepare the cotton thread. They use a warping board to create the warp and also use atole to strengthen the thread used for the warp.
They use small sticks and pieces of wood as heddles and pieces of the loom. I am fascinated by this process. While I have been a quilter for many years, I have never learned to weave. This may be the start of something.
It takes about 2 days to prepare the yearn and then to set up the loom for work. Yesterday the women told me that it takes about four additional days to weave a jaspe tablerunner. The women work and care for children at the same time. In Vasconcelos we were surrounded by chickens and serenaded by the turkeys in a pen nearby. Children played around us. Men were working in the field cultivating corn and beans.
When you buy Mayan Hands products, you are supporting a traditional lifestyle, supporting income for women, supporting the education and alimentation of children. The women have had a difficult year. Sales are down. Their incomes are down.
Their spirits are not. While there are no new orders for December, they have hopes for the new year. So do we.