Our Mayan Textiles

Huipil from Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan Guatemala

By Isabel Coxaj Boj We invited our colleague, Isabel Coxaj Boj, to contribute to the blog today to share more about the deep spiritual symbolism in traditional Mayan textiles and clothes. Isabel is a backstrap-loom weaving teacher, textile-lover, and Yabal’s Store Coordinator in the Yabal shop in Xela, Guatemala.  The Maya are recognized for their

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Who is Yabal Guatemala?

yabal guatemala ngo

While many know Yabal as an ethical fashion brand, what they do not know is that we partner with the Guatemalan non-profit, Yabal Guatemala to realize social programs in rural artisan communities. 80% of the Board of Directors is made up of women leaders from our artisan communities. Yabal Guatemala promotes the empowerment of indigenous

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A day off

As women we never have a break, we are always working. Whereas the men go to work and then come home to relax, women are working from sunrise to sunset. Washing, cooking, collecting firewood, taking care of the children, taking care of the garden, the chickens, preparing the food for tomorrow. And in between those

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Micro-credits for/by the community

Yabal started a small loan program with the community of Chuicutama 7 years ago. After receiving a private donation, we asked the community what project they would like to use the money for. The community decided  to use these funds to create a micro-credit system for their families to rent land for corn cultivation. As these families

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Tree Love

reforestation guatemala

Yabal was so happy to have the opportunity this year to coordinate the reforestation of over 4,000 trees with the Czech Republic organization Love for Guatemala and their volunteers in the rural community of Chuicutama. It was a wonderful day of tree love as we helped plant trees in their communal mountain forest nearby the village.

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Yabal featured in Handwoven Magazine!

Excerpt from an article in Handwoven and Interweave magazines featuring Yabal Handicrafts: Weaving New Lives and Bringing New Hope February 23, 2017 | Author: Anita Osterhaug Mayan women say that the goddess Ixchel taught their people to weave at the dawn of time. Through millennia of struggle between rival groups, through the founding of a dynasty

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The meaning behind our name

Yabal fair trade guatemala

Do you know what “Yabal” means? Yab’al is a K’iche’ word that literally means “a place that gives” which has the dual meaning in the k’iche’ language of “hope”. K’iche’ is an indigenous language spoken by Maya people in Guatemala, mostly in the central highlands region. Most of our women weavers speak K’iché as their first

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Fair Trade Cannot Support Hate

fair trade guatemala artisans women

by Allison Havens, Yabal Director I had to share some thoughts in these recent days after the US election as I am both deeply committed to the philosophy of fair trade and also deeply saddened by the US public’s acceptance of racism, sexism, xenophobia, and all around hate as shown through the election of Trump.

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Day of the Dead

Guatemala Day of the Dead

El dia de los muertos, or Day of the Dead, is one of my favorite holidays in Guatemala. It is a day of family gatherings in the cementary to spend time with and remember departed loved ones. Often families will bring flowers and food,  gathering around family tombs and graves. Kites are another important part of

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