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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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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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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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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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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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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Meet Paulina

yabal fair trade women artisans

An interview by Yabal volunteer, Kellie Shepherd Moeller, and Paulina Guachiac Guachiac (one of the leaders of the weaving cooperative from the community of Chuicutama). There are four young women leaders of the Pacutama/Chuicutama fair trade weaving cooperative of Yabal. They distribute the weaving orders between the rest of the 35 women, calculate prices and thread

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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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