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 language and Spanish as their second language- many only speak a limited amount of Spanish (only our weaving cooperative in the community of Chuacruz, speaks the indigenous language, Kaqchikel). The communities of Pacutama and Chuicutama, in Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan, chose the name of “Yabal” for our organization when we were first formed in 2005 in order to help them relocate and resettle to the Little Alaska area after their communities were destroyed in Hurricane Stan. Naming our organization Yab’al was an act of hope that things could get better for these communities.
Hope is “a feeling of desire for something and confidence in the possibility of its fulfilment” (http://www.thefreedictionary.com).
At Yabal we hope that fair trade will become a model for all companies to practice fair production and business practices so that everybody in the world can receive fair pay for fair work.
At Yabal we desire that people are aware of their daily consumption and make purchasing choices that help the world and the people in it.
Some people will say this is just a dream, it’s not realistic. But at Yabal we do not just wait for the world to change, we work to change it ourselves! By changing the way we do business and the way we produce and consume, we are changing lives one by one.
Yabal is currently providing hope for 50 women and each of their 50 families in Guatemala through our weaving social enterprise. With their earnings they are able live a dignified life, provide for their children, while at the same time maintain their centuries-old traditional weaving art.
We at Yabal have hope that we can continue to change lives through the support of people who believe that small actions can change the world, starting with their daily shopping choices.