What does it mean to say that Trama's products are fair trade?
We sell our products at prices that cover the weavers' costs and ensure that they are properly compensated for their labour.
Each cooperative decides their own wage for their products, and the association pays them that price. The product is marked up by a small percentage (usually 5%-20%), all of which is reinvested into the organisation to help pay the overhead of operating the association and the store. By purchasing our products, you are supporting sustainable work practices while simultaneously investing in Guatemala’s economic development.
I will only have a few days in Quetzaltenango. Do I have enough time to take a class?
We offer classes as short as 1 hour, during which time students can learn a good deal about the history of weaving and weaving processes. In as little as 10 hours you can make your own scarf. You will need approximately 20 hours, however, in order to complete a fabric with embroidery.
The school is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and students are free to develop their own class schedules during these hours. You can spread your lessons out over the course of a few weeks if you like.
Who teaches the weaving classes?
Members of the cooperative teach classes. These Maya women are experts in the art of backstrap loom weaving.
Do I need to speak Spanish to take a class?
No. Many of our students do not speak Spanish. English-speaking volunteers are available to assist students. However, weaving classes can also be a great a opportunity to practice your Spanish.
Can I select the colors for the weaving I will make in class?
Absolutely. We have a wide selection of thread and you are free to choose your own colors.
Will I be able to volunteer with the different groups within the cooperative or visit the various locations of the groups?
Trama Textiles is made up of 17 different groups of weavers located in 6 districts in the highlands of Guatemala. Many of these groups speak an indigenous language such as K’iche’, Mam, Kakchiquel, Ixil and Tz’utujil, meaning Spanish is their second language.
Because of the logistical complications of distance and language barriers, it is not possible to arrange for volunteers to live or work with the women in the cooperative groups.
However, we do have homestay opportunities available for both volunteers and visitors. Check out our Homestays page for more information.
I want to volunteer. Can Trama help arrange for me to stay with a family?
Volunteers at Trama Textiles are responsible for arranging their own travelling, meals and living arrangements. Our partner Xelapages (www.xelapages.com) has an online classifieds page that often contains housing for rent. If you're taking Spanish classes, you can also contact your Spanish school. Many schools offer homestays with families.
Where is the weaving school located?
We are located in Zona 1, just north of Central Park. Our address is 3a Calle 10-56, just off 12 Avenida. We are very close to a range of hotels, hostels, restaurants and cafes.
Delivery and Returns FAQ
I. Where does Trama Textiles deliver to?
Trama Textiles is based in Guatemala and can deliver packages to any country in the world! We work with our trustworthy shipping partners who work hard to deliver our packages efficiently and safely. On average, a package will take 10-15 days to arrive to almost any destination in the world. Specific shipping times for your country will be provided to you at checkout.
II. How much does shipping cost?
We offer free shipping to US and Canada. Shipping costs to Central and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia vary per country and will be calculated for you at checkout.
III. Will I receive tracking information for my package?
Yes! We ship packages with primarily DHL, and occasionally UPS and Fedex. We will send you a tracking number and directions to track your package 5 to 7 days after you place your order. The reason for the delay in receiving track info is that our shipping partners only generate tracking numbers once the package is cleared by Guatemalan customs. No need to worry. We appreciate your patience with this process!
IV. Do I have to pay customs fees?
If you live in Canada, Australia or England, you may have to pay a customs fee to receive your package. These fees vary by country. You will receive a call, text message, and/or email from DHL with directions on how to pay the customs fee when the package has arrived to your country.
V. I'm tracking my package and see a "failed delivery", or "package on hold" message, what do I do?
If you see that your package is experiencing trouble, please contact the shipping company first through their customer service page. After we hand the package over to DHL, UPS, or Fedex, the package becomes the responsibility of the receiving customer and the shipping company will respond to your request for information. If you are still having trouble, you can reach out to our sales team at email@example.com and we can see what we can do.
Please remember before making a purchase with Trama Textiles or reaching out to return an item that every product we make is UNIQUE. Since the products are hand-woven by self-trained indigenous weavers, there will always be some variation in color and pattern from product to product. If the product does not look exactly like the picture, please understand that this is part of the reality of buying products that are made with traditional back-strap loom weaving techniques. In our opinion, that's what makes our handicraft so beautiful and meaningful, and we hope you see the value in this too!
Customer satisfaction is our top priority here at Trama Textiles. If you are dissatisfied with our product, as a loyal customer you are entitled to an 18 day period to return/exchange. We will issue the credit to the card used for the transactional purchase, including taxes.
*Please note that shipping fees are not included in the return/exchange process. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.
Products must be returned in their original condition and will need to be pre approved before the start of the return process. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a return approval. Once approved further instructions will be sent.