Quality over Quantity

“Quality over quantity” is our unspoken slogan at Yabal. We have been working with a group of around 50 artisans for around 8 years now. Each year we have been able to include a few new women into our Fair Trade weaving project but only when we are able to commit to provide enough work

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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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Seeing is Believing

Fair Trade Guatemala textiles

  by Max Crosby, Yabal Volunteer I did a good deal of thinking about my recent visit to the Yabal weaving cooperative in Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan with Yabal’s Production Coordinator, Yesica. The second part of the visit is what really had an impact on me. Once the piñata-making workshop was over, part of Yabal’s Women’s

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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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Reflections on Fair Trade

As October is Fair Trade month, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on what Fair Trade means for me and specifically for all of us at Yabal. I think for people that only look at Fair Trade through a business, money-bottom-line lens, it might not be the “smartest” business move. Normally in business

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Women’s Small Business Training Program

womens empowerment guatemala

Each month, as part of our on-going entrepreneurship program, Y’abal offers job skills trainings for our group of 35 women weavers in the communities of Pacutama and Chuicutama, in Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan. The idea is to teach them new skills and give them new ideas for generating income out of small home businesses. The communities

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New Product Design Process

womens empowerment workshops

Creating a new product for Y’abal is always an organic and surprising process. It requires flexibility and openness on both ends- from the designer, as well as, from the women’s cooperative. We begin with an idea or a drawing which we take to the women weavers of the communities of Pacutama and Chuicutama, in the rural

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Meet Silvia

We wanted to share a little more about the talented Y’abal seamstresses responsible for transforming the handwoven cloth from the women weavers into bags, accessories, and… Pillow PETS! Today, we introduce you to Silvia: Born and raised in Quetzaltenango, Silvia was only 10 years old when she started sewing- learning from her father, a tailor

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Zig Zag

fair trade purse

  The Zig Zag collection is Y’abal’s newest collection of hand-embroidered totes and purses. The embroidery on the front of the bags is meticulously woven into the cloth by hand, point by point, as the woman artisan weaves the cloth back and forth on the back-strap loom. This indigenous weaving art technique is centuries old!

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