A lot of responsibilities lie on the shoulders of the women of the world and yet they are still victims of discrimination, violence, lower income and impoverishment compared to their male fellows in so many parts of the world.
The key to help the women’s future is to achieve economic empowerment through fair trade models. It means that a brand commits to fair trade, among other things, like no discrimination and gender equality. Fair trade is not only equal work for women but also allows them to participate in leadership positions to continue the cycle of women empowerment.
Trama Textiles was founded in 1988 by two artisan women Amparo and Oralia (Click here to know more about them) and employs 400 women from 5 different regions of Guatemala. Most of them are illiterate and learn to weave traditional Mayan designs on a backstrap loom since a very young age. The association is even bigger now as the daughters help their mothers and continue their art.
But do you know the story behind Trama Textiles?
After the Guatemalan Civil War, many husbands, fathers and brothers were killed. Many women had to take care of their families themselves. Fear and grief were still in their hearts. But these women kept their spirits up by deciding to work and help each other.
Their initiative has pushed to empower the lives and work of rural women through the years. In difficult times, the women who were working alone had to sell their products to a middleman for a low price. By forming this association , they could share all their resources and traditional know-how. They can now sell their products for a fair price and gain a fair wage for their families.
Every product is a unique handmade piece, with different patterns. Each creation has a powerful meaning. It can tells the story of the weaver or their Mayan ancestors and every community has different designs. To make just one product, it can take days, weeks or months!
But these weavers don’t only continue with their traditional symbols. They’re also innovative as they create new patterns and collaborate with designers to find the right balance between tradition and modernity. That way, they can resist to the non-sustainable practices of our time.
These details are really important as the weavers are not just simple workers. It shows that they are true craftswomen and business women.
To support women empowerment in Guatemala, you can buy products from Trama Textiles in its local store in Quetzaltenango or online through the Etsy website.
To preserve their traditional Mayan culture, they opened a museum in their shop and offer weaving classes. You can learn more about their classes here.
We also have just created ecotourism tours where you can meet and live with our artisans. You can share their daily routines with their families and have an authentic experience to learn more about their traditions. Click here to learn more.