Lucia has something to say

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Guatemala: Sharing the Dream

I'm in Guatemala City, but it scarcely feels like I'm anywhere since for a few days we're just parked on the roof of a house having a board meeting. I was in heaven last night with homemade torillas, eggs, beans, cheese, cream, and hibiscus tea--what usually is a typical breakfast, at least in El Salvador. Mmmm, mmmm good!

We are in the house of an organization called Sharing the Dream, a non-profit that promotes fair trade for cooperatives. They're part of some interesting projects including supporting an orphanage, providing educational scholarships for Mayan women and children, and buying school supplies. It's early morning, and I'm in their office, downstairs from where I slept. There are weavings in bags ready to go, crayons and photos of projects around me. The morning traffic noises are beginning to rattle through the house, and I expect my friends will wake soon.

Some of you asked about fiber arts. For the last 7 years, I've been the administrative coordinator for WARP on top of my full-time job with all of its travel. I've resigned this position and will hand it over to someone else in the next couple of months, in part, because I want time to do some other things. I'm what I call a hobby weaver, but for the last 5 years my loom has been buried under boxes in my basement, and I knit, usually through work meetings. It helps me listen and organize my thoughts, and I hope my co-workers know by this point that it's not a distraction.

So, on with my day. I told myself I wouldn't buy anything on this trip because I don't need anything more, but the chances of that are about nil now that I have quetzales in my pocket and am headed to Panajachel, a shopping mecca, in a few days. I should be supporting these indigenous artisans, right? Right!?


Blogger Laurie said...

Oh by all means you must support them! Honestly I just don't see any way around it! :)


7:48 AM  
Blogger Lynnea said...

Talk about a full plate! What kind of things do you like to knit. I've always been fascinated at that talent - the hands moving so fast, the sound of the needles ticking away against each other, the softness of the knitted yarn...oh and homemade tortillas - my mouth is watering.

7:50 AM  
Blogger Heather Plett said...

Yeah, that's what I always tell myself too - support those local artisans!

I'm working on an article right now about a new silk industry in Ethiopia called Sabahar - started by a Canadian woman I know. Have you heard of them? I toured their factory while I was there and I fell in love. I'm wearing one of their beautiful woven silk scarves right now.

8:11 AM  
Blogger thailandchani said...

You must absolutely support them ~ and buy all kinds of wonderful things to bring back here and sell to the rest of us. LOL

Weaving. I'm still looking into learning Hmong weaving. It may take some time and at the minimum, not until after eye surgery.



12:45 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Lucia, you live an amazing life. Knowing that you are out there, doing these wonderful things out in exotic, remote places makes me very happy.

5:26 PM  
Blogger meno said...

There are few finer things in life than warm homemade tortillas. Lucky you.
I think i will learn to make them. They will be funny shaped, but they will taste good.

5:31 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wow Lucia, I'm just trying to imagine the sights and smells and sounds, and perhaps some of the discomfort perhaps. I hope you are able to find some center of stillness in the whirlwind that is your life. I really enjoy visiting your blog.

I'm intrigued by your weaving and the knitting. Thanks for writing about that.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Girlplustwo said...

oh, lucia. i already miss El Salvadorian breakfasts. those fat tortillas. the best.

good luck on the shopping. I know you'll do the right thing (and it'll have the best colors)

6:27 PM  
Blogger QT said...

Jealous of you and can't wait to get south of the border myself. By all means, you have to at least look at what is offered, right?

1:20 PM  

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