Artisan Organization: Angelina Gomez
"I was born in 1985 in a Maya village in Western Chiapas. My family has always worked in textiles. I began learning while I was a little girl and I've loved it ever since.
"What I like best is combining colors and patterns. My aunt and my grandmother taught me everything I know and I want my daughter to learn, too. I want to be the one who teaches her. But she's still quite young and, although she likes what we do, she'll need to study to become a professional woman.
"It was so hard when my mother died. We suffered so much. This is why I value my family and put all my efforts into them. I promote and sell my weavings to be able to earn as much as I can so that my children have everything they need. And it's always been a dream of mine to have people recognize my work some day,
"I've also had some great moments in my life. Once, when I was younger, I wanted to go horseback riding but I fell off and we all laughed and laughed. Fortunately, I wasn't hurt.
"To weave my textiles, I work with a group of women and we're all family – my grandmother, aunts, sister-in-law and cousins — and we all do what we like best. We work primarily with cotton and work on the backstrap loom. Some tasks are delegated, for example, the older members weave cushion covers, rugs and blouses while the youngest members weave bracelets, book jackets, scarves and bags. When they're ready, I go our out to sell work.
"I especially like that, as weavers, we can craft almost anything. You just need to use your imagination to combine colors and motifs. I think that when something catches our eye and we like it, we need to pay close attention to be able to make it. It's not so difficult to learn and, above all, to practice as much as is needed. This is how I've achieved what I have in my workshop. Our most difficult weavings involve many colors in a single design and they take much longer to create.
"My family and I need to work because, if we don't work, we won't be able to eat. The good thing is that we really enjoy our art and it's so very gratifying when people like our weavings and purchase them.""