One of the more interesting aspects of our work is the interaction with the women of the artisans groups. Just as we are interested in their daily lives they are also interested in every aspect of our lives.
I’m sure women all over the world are the same in that we are interested in meeting and learning about women of other cultures. Our women artisans always want to see pictures of our home and family, to know what we do in our daily lives, to learn how we are the same and also different.
Because so many in rural Guatemala think all Americans are wealthy it is a fine line to explain and tell about our lives without perpetuating the idea of the wealth in this country when compared with Guatemala.
Their daily lives are usually very strenuous – walking to market for food; grinding corn for tortillas; 3 meals a day making tortillas by hand plus cooking all meals at home on a wood burning stove; doing laundry in cold water outside by hand; bringing in firewood for cooking; plus their hand weaving to make their clothes, blankets and other items needed for the home.
Our work with the women’s groups gives them dignity in being able to create beautiful handcrafts that will be sold around the world. This helps to make our relationship on a more even basis because we are not merely giving out aid — we are simply helping them to sell their handcrafts at a fair wage. I think our relationships are more like sisters — sisters from different parts of God’s world helping each other.
It is quite a different way of life and it is a wonderful blessing to be able to share our lives with the women of Guatemala