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Each year Guatemalans are very passionate about celebrating their freedom and events leading up to the anniversary are festive and feverishly proud. Festivities are held around the country showing the patriotism of the Guatemalan people, you will find blue and white all over the houses and buildings and flags too!

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Guatemala is the birthplace of the Mayan civilisation, the presence of which is still made very visible today. Towns and cities all across the country are rich with the vibrant colours of Mayan clothing and textiles. These alluring textiles made up of ancient symbols and colour patterns that represent Mayan culture attract fleets of tourists from across the world. In recent years, these fabrics have been redesigned into bags, wallets and more contemporary forms of clothing that are sold to tourists and foreigners. This practice has become an important means of income for many Mayan communities. However, it is important...

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For centuries, the Maya population in Guatemala has been subordinated by rulers and forced to adapt to extreme challenges. In recent years, damage to those of Maya descent has stemmed from the Guatemalan Civil War, which occurred between 1960 and 1996. In an attempt of counterinsurgency, the US-backed Guatemalan military carried out over 600 massacres killing over 200,000 people, 86% of whom were Maya. The sheer scale and nature of the atrocities committed has since resulted in an international acknowledgement of genocide.Although the scars of genocide remain deeply entrenched in the fabric of Mayan society, Maya people have managed to...

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San Juan is one of the few villages left around Guatemala that dyes its yarn naturally. The natural yarn process is fascinating. It is incredible that such vibrant colours can be achieved in a completely natural way. Once picked, the natural cotton balls—which are white, khaki or coffee in color—are pulled apart so that the seeds can be removed. (pictured right)    The cotton is then stretched and pounded into a rectangle in preparation for spinning it into thread.The cotton is then handspun on a spool. One hand spins the spool while the other holds the cotton high until long strands...

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“So that the message continues So the promise and practices of a culture are remembered So the roots are not forgotten The word is made ideogram in the textiles” Humberto Ak’abal San Juan La Laguna is a small town in the department of Sololá, Guatemala on the southwest edge of Lake Atitlán. Surrounded by mountains, it is a beautiful community with over 6,000 residents, the majority of which are Tz’utujil Maya. The sense of pride these Maya’s have in their ancestry is palpable, with many beautiful murals proudly bearing the name tz’ujutil and depicting ancient mayan myths and legends across...

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