Quetzaltenango homestay with master backstrap loom weavers: Come discover the beauty and culture of Quetzaltenango, a small city nestled in the hills of the Guatemalan western highlands, while staying with the presidents of Trama, Oralia Chopén and Amparo De León! They live together with their families in the same complex as our Trama shop, in the centre of Quetzaltenango. Here you can immerse yourself into the mayan culture by living with the family, speaking Spanish as well as discovering their indigenous languages, learning to weave your own beautiful creations, and also going on various excursions with your hosts, Amparo and Oralia. Quetzaltenango is one of the best places in the whole of Central America for learning Spanish. With a vast amount of well established Spanish schools, and also very reasonably priced private tutors, your Spanish will improve immeasurably while you are here.
Whilst staying at Trama, Amparo and Oralia can take you on excursions to various different places. Heres a list of the well recommended places to visit whilst participating in our homestay!
- Fuentes Gorginas. A beautiful set of hot springs naturally heated by the volcanoes of Zunil, located in the municipality of Zunil, Quetzaltenango.
- Salcaja. A town just five miles outside of Quetzaltenango and is best known for the Church of San Jacinto, founded in 1524, which was the first church built in Central America since it was one of the first places invaded in the Spanish conquest of Guatemala.
- San Andres Xecul. Contains and incredible church, famous for its vibrant colours and decoration on the outside. In addition to the church's beauty and vibrancy, it carries a strong influence of colonialist pasts in Guatemala.
- Chicabal Laguna. Chicabal lake was formed in the crater of volcano Chicabal at an elevation of 2712 meters. This lake is sacred to the Mann Mayan people, and is located in the town of San Martin Sacatepequez, which is a one hour drive direct from the Trama HQ and around 1.5 hours on a bus. This is village is where Amparo is originally from, so going there with her, will give you a true insight form a local.
- Tour to visit our weavers in Lake Atitlan! The lake is one of the most famous places in Guatemala, a huge serene laguna surrounded on all sides by green, lush volcanoes. You can visit the home of one of our weavers and see our cooperative members working in real time! Tour includes weaving, natural dyeing, and jaspe demonstrations, as well as a home-cooked meal of traditional Guatemalan foods. The lake is around three hours by bus from Quetzaltenango and two hour direct drive.
The homestay costs 50Q per night (6.50 USD), and meals are 25Q each (3.25 USD). You can choose to cook your own food, or eat with the family.
For the homestay, 70% of the tour price goes directly to the family, meaning each trip helps the weaving families of Trama. The final 30% is a commission for Trama Textiles, which goes towards expenses for maintaining the co-operative, and to the local tourist agencies who help promote the tours.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your homestay!
'I stayed with Amparo and Oralia for three weeks in their home at Trama. I participated in volunteering for Trama textiles, helping Oralia with English, taking photos of products, practicing my Spanish, editing website photos, and even making some products out of the recycled fabrics that Trama have! From the moment I arrived I felt very welcome and fully immersed into the project. I had a weaving lesson from Oralia, and at the same time I helped her with learning some English phrases so she is able to teach weaving in other countries. I also had Spanish lessons with a private tutor, (very cheap) and would definitely recommend this if you want to stay in Xela Quetzaltenango for a long time!"
-Alice C, England
"If you are looking for cultural immersion, true connection, and an authentic experience while you are in Guatemala…..look no further. A friend and I had the honor of spending 3 nights with Oralia, Amparo, and their families. To say it was more than I expected would be an understatement. We were welcomed in with open arms and felt like family right away. They prepared food for us, taught us how to weave, showed us the natural dying process they use, and even had the patience to try and teach us the art of tortilla making. Even though we do not speak Spanish, we had no problem communicating with Google translate and some basic phrases we picked up. We also had the opportunity to venture out to some nearby hot springs and the local market to pick up some groceries. These women and their families gave us a behind the scenes look at daily life in Guatemala. We also bonded over sharing some of our own personal rituals and offering them some foot massages and reiki. We came as strangers and left as friends. This was just a beginning in a life long connection with these women and the work they are doing."
-Shelley E., USA
Watch the video below to discover how these homestays help the weavers and their families.