In the village of San Martin Chiquito, nestled in the highlands of Guatemala, Mayan women have joined together to ease the burdens of poverty on their families. Through the formation of Cooperativa Tesoros del Corazon (Treasures of the Heart Cooperative) these brave, talented women continue the art of backstrap weaving by creating and selling magnificent textiles. By continuing this nearly 2000 years old tradition, they honor generations of women before them and pass the art to their daughters...truly a gift that is a treasure from the heart.
Meet Luciana Perez Lopez:
Luciana is the heart and soul of Tesoros del Corazon. She is not only the leader of the weavers, but she is also the leader in the community. She is 38 years old and has 5 children, 2 of which she fostered because they were abandoned by their parents. She was born in San Martín Chiquito and has lived in the village her entire life. She learned to weave from her mother and has continue to teach her daughters the art of weaving. Luciana is a warm-hearted, caring, and driven woman that has continued to thrive in leadership roles. We are incredibly proud of her and forever thankful for her friendship, love, leadership, and unmatched abilities. We love you, Luciana!
Meet Catarina Lopez Gomez:
Catarina is 60 years old and has 3 children of her own. Her husband abandoned the family years ago and she weaves in order to take care of her son and two daughters. She was taught to weave by her mother at the age of 10 and has made her own clothes ever since. She is happy she is able to weave and do what she loves to take care of her family.
Meet Catalina Lopez Lopez:
Catalina is 47 years old and has 6 children of her own. She learned to weave from her mother when she was just 10 years old and has already taught her four daughters. She hopes her children can continue to attend school, a luxury that she was never able to receive growing up. She is excited for her children's future and is confident that they will be successful in whatever path they choose. She is thankful to each of you for providing her with a chance to support her children.
Meet Magdalena Lopez Lopez:
Oh how we love sweet Magdalena! Magdalena is 34 years old and has 2 sons of her own. She lives in a small home with her parents, children, and 5 others. She began weaving at the age of 10 and says she enjoys it "more than anything in the world." Magdalena has demonstrated exceptional skills at assisting Luiciana in managing the cooperative and we are thankful for her contagious positive energy, love, and leadership.
Flori is 28 years old and has 9 brothers and sisters. She lost her father when she was just 12 years old and has been working ever since to help her family pay off the medical bills. She learned to weave when she was just 12 years old and has been supporting her family since none of her relatives are assisting the family. She has a beautiful baby boy we love to have around the clinic! She is an incredible mother and addition to cooperative.
Meet Angelina Vásquez López:
Angelina is 31 years old and is one of the newest members of the weaving cooperative. She learned to weave when she was just 8 years old and has been weaving ever since. She only attended school up until elementary level so she is thankful for the opportunity to be given additional education as part of the JOJI program.
Despite losing her husband to cancer almost seven years ago, she is a positive and hard-working woman that believes in the importance of taking care of her family. She would like to say thank you to all of you who have blessed her with this opportunity to support her family.