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The Weavers of the Guatemalan Highlands

GUATEMALA

Women's Weaving Cooperative | Western Guatemalan Highlands 

 

Beyond the hills and past the volcanoes, this women’s cooperative supports over 150 weavers across 9 different communities in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. Pixan, meaning “spirit” in the Maya language of K’iche, is an cooperative of indigenous artisan weavers that are expert in the ancient techniques of back-strap and pedal loom weaving and embroidery. The cooperative creates opportunities for weavers in historically marginalized communities with fair pay and safe working conditions. 

When it was founded in 1993 this cooperative gave life to the first circles of women in the communities of Chontala El Quiché, which were formed mostly by female victims of the internal conflict that took place in Guatemala in the 1960s. Many of them were widows who had been adrift with their children; living with numerous limitations, in addition to constant harassment and discrimination. 

All the weavers who are part of this cooperative work from their homes. They set their own wages and they weave around their own schedule. These are talented, resilient women and every textile that they weave carries their unique spirit, their determination and their drive. Our partnership with this cooperative is helping to give these indigenous women access to the global marketplace and achieve economic empowerment.