Posts Tagged ‘San Juan La Laguna’

Naturally Dyed Cotton Yarn

August 27, 2011

One of the artisan groups that Education And More works with dyes a lot of their yarn naturally.  The practice of hand dyeing yarn is a tradition handed down through the generations in San Juan La Laguna.

Natural cotton yarn is generally cheaper so the artisans are able to buy the yarn and do weaving for their families by adding color through the process of adding color with plant dyes.

The group recently shipped to Education And More hand-dyed yarn in several colors – muted mustard color, muted celery green and a rich chocolate brown. They are for sale in Education And More’s webstore. We will have more colors in the coming months.

Yarn dyed with plant dyes

Yarn is hung to dry after the dyeing process

Naturally dyed brown color -- shawl










Natural plant dyes were used in this weaving

Dyeing yarn with plant or vegetable dyes produces soft and muted colors as shown in these photos.  To learn more about the colors that some plants produce check out our Backstrap Weaving page on our website.

So if you like to weave and want some unique yarn check out our webstore for the first selections from our artisans in Guatemala.









Larger Store for Artisan Group

May 1, 2011

We gave a micro credit, interest free loan to one of the artisan groups we work with so that they could open a little store to sell their weavings and handcrafted items.  Recently they moved their store to a much better room and are in the process of trying to fill this larger space.

They painted it and had new shelving made and put up recently so they have a much better display.  The women in the group take turns staying at the store to keep it open each day.  They can bring their backstrap looms and do their weaving while keeping the store open.

They are all working on more items to put in the store and should have it filled soon!

Sewing Centers for Fair Trade Artisans

February 3, 2011

Education And More is trying to raise money for sewing centers for 2 of the artisan groups that we work with in the western highlands of Guatemala.  We have worked with these groups for several years and they are both in need of  sewing machines, sewing lessons, tables, and supplies in order to increase their income with sewn items.

Artesana's T'zaput

‘Sewing machines and learning to sew has been a dream for us!’–  one of the artisans told me recently.

Children of Fair Trade Artisans

The economic benefit of learning to sew and then having sewing machines will make a huge difference to the income they are able to generate for their families.

Backstrap Weaver from Artesanas Red de Mujeres Juaneras

Backstrap Weaver from Artesanas Red de Mujeres Juaneras

We have donated a sewing machine to each group in the past,  but they need more machines and they need sewing instruction for advanced sewing of purses, totes, messenger bags, backpacks, curtains, and clothing and other more detailed projects.

Please help us in our fund raising for our artisan groups! Donate Today!

Crossing Lake Atitlan And Another Artisan Group

January 24, 2011

I was so glad today that there was very little wind when we finally crossed the lake to spend time with our group Artesanas Mujeres Juaneras. January is the windiest month of the year it seems to me and we have had a lot of wind since we have been here in Guatemala,  but today was just picture perfect.

These are the launchas that are used to transport locals and tourists to the various villages around the lake.

We are reviewing the group’s January order and seeing a lot of new designs that they are weaving. Because their weavings, purses, shawls, neck scarves and other items are selling so well, they have invited 5 women to join them in their association.

Warping for a new weaving with a 'urdidor'

Paulina, Maria, Melchora, Cecelia, and Rosa are the new ladies and each brings new skills and designs to the group. These ladies were asked to join not only because of the economic hardships they are experiencing within their families but also for their skill as weavers, embroiderers, or sewers.

The new ladies will help teach weaving classes to the members of the Education And More Weaving Tour in May.

You can read more about the Artesanas Mujeres Juaneras on the artisan group webpage on our site.

Kicking The Habit

May 30, 2009

How hard is it to remember to take reusable bags into each store?  Apparently it is for me!  It is so exasperating to get to the check out counter and realize you have bags in the car!

I have been known to run out to the car and make the checker wait but that was at a small health food store and my car was at the front door.

I have now changed my routine when getting into the car.  Instead of just tossing the shopping bags into the back seat I put them on top of my purse or under my purse so that I can’t miss them when I  get out of the car.  This has made a difference and sure has helped me to remember the bags!  If I don’t use all the bags during that trip I leave them in the car in my seat so that I must move them to get into the car next time.

If you need some new sturdy totes check out the ones we have made in Guatemala by our artisan group, Asociacion Red de Mujeres Juaneras T’zutujiles.  They are made of  material that is actually fabric that the Mayan women use to make their skirts (called a corte). Copy of San Juan 073 The fabric  is beautiful and sturdy and we have available 3 different color patterns.LV352

Comment and tell me ways that help you remember to take them into the store with you!

Does anyone know how many plastic shopping bags we could save in the U.S. every year if we all used reusable totes???????

Daily Life Around Lake Atitlan

May 6, 2009

Making tortillas is a daily occurrence in the villages around Lake Atitlan and most women make them for breakfast lunch and dinner. These young girls are learning early how to make them. Their tortillas were rather lopsided and small but they are learning.copy-of-ajbatz-bal-005

This mother and her boys on the shores of the Lake were catching small shellfish, similar to an elongated snail. The boys told me their mother makes a delicious soup with them.copy-of-students-003


It is mango season in Guatemala and they are delicious and huge! One man just stopped his truck beside the curb and began selling his mangos in Panajachel.copy-of-students-001


When I arrived at the hotel in San Juan La Laguna, the owner was gone and no one on duty — but not to worry in a small village! A young lady across the street asked me if I would like to put my suitcases in her paint studio -store until he returned. Well 4 hours later he had not arrived so she went out in the pouring rain and went to get his wife to open up a room for me! I got my room and made a really nice new friend. So if you are in San Juan La Laguna look for Gloria and her paintings across from the hotel Estrella del Lago!copy-of-students-022

This is the beginning of the rainy season and it seems that it has rained every day since I got here. Yards and streets are standing with water!


Daily life around Lake Atitlan…………