Monday, May 16, 2016

World Fair Trade Day May 14th

My girlfriends and I went to the World Fair Trade Day event at a local NGO here in Panajachel called Mayan Traditions. It was very interesting. I wish I could have stayed longer and chatted a bit more but I was in such a rush to get so many things done that day! I also wish that I had tons of money to buy all the super-interesting and gorgeous handmade items that were for sale. The Mayans do such amazing textile work. The fabrics are so beautiful, intricate, and colourful. I want to cover all the surfaces in my home with fabrics!
Guatemala Mayan textile fabric back-strapped woven
One of my pieces of Mayan fabric. I'm going to hang it in the living room.
Mayan Traditions NGO Guatemala
The Mayan Traditions compound in Jucanya, Guatemala
Mayan Traditions NGO Guatemala backstrap weaving
Demonstrating backstrap weaving
Mayan Traditions NGO Guatemala Panajachel
Artisans set up in the lovely garden area.
Mayan Traditions NGO Guatemala
Inside the Mayan Traditions shop.
One of my favourite finds at the event were pine needle baskets. I had recently seen a demonstration of this on Youtube and was fascinated by it. It is a traditional craft of North American Indians. Mayan Families initiated a training workshop to teach this skill to the Mayan people here in Guatemala. It is amazing! Read more about it on Mayan Tradition's website.

Mayan Traditions NGO Guatemala pine needle baskets
Baskets woven from long pine needles. 
The event also had herbal remedies and tinctures made with plants grown in their organic medicinal garden. The gardens are not located at the same site as the buildings, so we didn't get to see them, however, they did have a few medicinal plants growing on the grounds, plus some lovely flowers and shrubs. (For those interested, you can book a tour of their "Mother Garden" site for a small fee.)

A honeybee is having his breakfast in this pretty hibiscus.
Echinacea plant. Lots of people have heard of this, but not so many recognize it when they see it!
I love going to these events around town, although I don't go very often. It's so interesting to see what non-profit organizations are doing in this area. I especially like Mayan Traditions as they are directly involved with women, helping them to market and sell their crafts, as well as passing on their traditional arts to the next generation. Keep up the good work, guys and gals! :D

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