I just returned from an exciting adventure in Guatemala with five other women. We are exploring the possibility of starting a sewing collaborative with women in El Salitre. Four of the women in our travel group are in the education field and one is a medical anthropologist. I went along as the sewing strategist.
El Salitre is a poverty-stricken area along the edge of Lake Amatitlan outside of Guatemala City. Most of the women are single mothers who have little or no education and no way to provide for their children. Learning to sew simple necessities for themselves and to sell would open opportunities they can’t even dream of now. I’d never underestimate the motivation of women who want their children to stay in school and have a better life.
We visited several weaving collaboratives and an amazing rug hooking one. There is a lot to do before this becomes a reality, but those women showed us what perseverance and skill can accomplish. The street markets, especially Chichicastenango were a riot of textiles colors, textures and patterns.