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TRAMA Textiles: a 100% worker-owned women’s weaving cooperative in Guatemala

TRAMA TEXTILES   TRAMA Textiles is a 100% worker-owned women’s weaving cooperative in Guatemala. TRAMA provides work for over 400 women and their families, across five regions in Guatemala’s Western highlands. We pay the women up front and in full for their work, and they are guaranteed a fair wage for what they produce. This means women in our communities can earn an income to support themselves and their families, in a region where paid work is hard to find.   "In 1988, after some of the most devastating years of Guatemala´s civil war, our association was formed. The civil war was a time when most of the men from our communities: our grandfathers, fathers, brothers and sons, disappeared. During this difficult time,...

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Spring Mola Collection

There are so many things we love about the Kuna Yala territory of Panama. The crystal clear oceans and beaches, the palm trees, the fresh fish. But the most amazing part is the Kuna community. As one of the only autonomous indigenous tribes in the world, the Kuna nation has kept so many of their traditions going strong to this day.  I first came to Kuna Yala in 2012 and was immediately enthralled with the bright colors everywhere -- the women's arms and legs were wrapped in colorful beads, they wore colorful skirts, and their blouses were absolute masterpieces. The centerpiece of the blouse is called a Mola, and consists of intricately hand sewn layers of fabric. The women begin...

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The Land of Artisans - Guest Post by Ali Sassoon

Reflections of a trip to Guatemala By Alexandra Sassoon  “A’ Cha Pe! Jani?” “Cuánto para el bordado?” Colorfully dressed women in traditional huipils called out of their small stalls stacked high with embroideries and hand dyed textiles. The scene unfolding before me was an allusion of colors, sounds and smells as I walked down the worn cobblestone streets of Chichicastanengo; a mountain town known for it’s overwhelming Sunday markets.    As I wandered down the narrow passageways of this never-ending labyrinth of shops, vendors, and peddlers, the beauty of Guatemala unfolded before me. It was shown in every hand-stitched thread of the multicolored bordados, or embroideries I walked past. Each bolt of cloth, I soon learned, represented a different group...

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