The textile cooperative is an association of women for artisan development in backstrap loom weaving. Founded in 1988, Trama Textiles consists of 400 women, forming 17 groups of weavers from five different regions in the western part of the Guatemalan highlands: Sacatepéquez, Sololá, Quiché, Quetzaltenango, and Huehuetenango. Developing from co-dependent first steps, the cooperative is now run solely by the indigenous women who manage all aspects of production, distribution, and sales.
If the indigenous women of Guatemala know one thing, it is how to rely on themselves. The mother prepares a bowl of warm instant soup, enriched with thick pieces of avocado, continuing with fresh piña juice, a product of the only pineapple in the house. While eating, we wonder if the family will have anything left to eat for dinner, having generously served their guests. In the middle of it all sits the traditional strap loom, turning the thread into a scarf, with each swing as if to remind us all that, come what may, there are women, families, and communities depending on it.
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