homestay mayan weavers guatemala

Trama Textiles offers fantastic homestays where travellers can have an authentic trip and share the daily lives of our weavers and their families in rural Guatemala. This off-the-beaten track experience is a unique chance to learn more about the Mayan culture and take part in local traditions.

We offer homestays in 3 different villages; San Juan at Lake Atitlan, San Martin and Pujujil. Each village differs in surroundings, cultures and traditions, living conditions and activities. The main activity that is offered to the tourists in each village is a weaving class as this is what all of the women are professionals at and it is the heart of Trama. Participants will also have the opportunity to help with the husband’s daily work on the corn or coffee fields, visit the local market, learn how to prepare traditional Guatemalan meals, take part in the village’s traditions, go to church with the family, stroll through fields and mountains, fish at the beaches of Lake Atitlan and much more. The homestay provides the chance to share the daily life of the families that are part of the cooperative.

San Juan at Lake Atitlan is the only village where you are likely to see other tourists. However, travellers who decide to stay with our weavers’ families will still get to experience authentic Guatemalan living, however they wont be as isolated as in the other villages. Our weaving group in San Juan grow their own cotton and only work with natural dyes, so this homestay includes a demonstration of the natural dying process and an introduction to the many different plants used to create the vibrant colours of the weavings.

San Martin is the village where Amparo, the director of Trama Textiles, lives. Travellers can stay with Amparo and her family or in another weaver’s home in the village. In San Martin it is unlikely other tourists will be staying in this area, which makes the experience even more authentic and original than Lake Atitlan. This homestay is only a 1 hour bus ride from Xela, making it the perfect quick escape from the city.

Pujujil is located approximately 2 hours from Xela, in the Sololá highlands. This village is the home of Oralia, our vice president. As Pujujil is not completely accessible by bus, travellers must be taken by pickup truck so prepare for an authentic ride through rural Guatemala. This village will provide the most accurate insight into the traditional culture of those who live rurally. The village may seem quite poor to those travelling from western countries, however the hospitality of the people is heart warming and the mountains around the villages are stunning.

We offer 3 trip options (1 day, 2 days/1 night or 3 days/2 nights) but we can also accommodate special requests. Both San Martin and Pujujil include transportation, meals, accommodation and activities with the family. Transportation will include public buses, on which guests will be accompanied by a family member at all times. The trip to San Juan, Lake Atitlan includes all of the above, aside from transportation. 70% of the tour price goes directly to the family so each trip is a huge financial help for the families of Trama. The final 30% is a commission for Trama Textiles in order to maintain the cooperative, and to the local tourist agencies who help to promote the tours.

“Staying with one of the families was one of the most amazing experiences from my time in Guatemala. I chose to stay with Francisca´s family in San Juan, Lake Atitlan and am already wanting to return. I felt like part of the family and participated in their daily lives for the weekend. I was also lucky to be in the town when their football team won against the neighbouring town San Pedro. The streets were filled with the locals dancing and singing all afternoon. I cannot recommend doing homestay highly enough!” – Lauren O, Australia

Watch the video below to find out how a homestay helps the weavers and their families.