Our Small Joyabaj Handbag has been handcrafted from colorful huipils in Guatemala. A huipil (wee-peel) is a traditional blouse worn by Mayan women in Guatemala, and to the knowledgeable observer it identifies her village, social and marital status, religious background, wealth, and individual personality. A well-woven huipil can last 20 to 30 years before it's sold at market and starts a second life as a rag, quilt, or handbag.
Due to their recycled nature, no two handbags are exactly the same. Handmade in Guatemala and fair trade imported.
De Colores Artisan Story
Chichicastenango, Guatemala, has become one of the most important heritage centers in Guatemala during the past 10 years, due to its predominant indigenous Maya Quiche population and their traditional textile products. Yet, despite increased tourism and a renewed interest in traditional Mayan crafts, work opportunities remain few for the indigenous population, many of whom are uneducated and otherwise unemployable.
Enter De Colores Art, a local business that levels the playing field for villagers by offering free training to anyone who demonstrates the initiative to learn a trade. The company employs 30 women and 18 men to knit and embroider textile products, with the option of working at home using materials provided by the company. De Colores recognizes the culture of its Mayan employees, and as such allows flexible hours and gives time off for sowing and harvest days.
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