Artisan Organization: Angelina Roquel
"I have dreams in life. I dream of paying off my house and knowing that it's mine. I dream of watching my children grow up here, and being there for them at every stage of their lives. I want to be a fundamental part of their joy and sorrow, to be their accomplice in their mischief and their victories.
"I was born in Sololá in 1985. At the age of eight, I became acquainted with handicrafts when a neighbor began teaching me beadwork. It was an art I fell in love with from the beginning — the ability to combine colors and, with them, make endless motifs for a single design. With time, I developed my skills as an artisan and everything flowed. My imagination soared and my hands became able to make wonderful things that charged life with so much color, shapes and textures.
"My mom was a single mother and I always helped her as much as I could. She struggled to stay home with my brother, but we never lacked for anything. Eventually, she decided to get married and my life became very tough, as I suffered physical and verbal abuse from my stepfather. It was hard overcoming this, but I managed to. I never gave up, and that gave me the necessary strength to fight and achieve something for myself.
"Today, I continue to love my work, which has brought me much satisfaction and many achievements. I was able to teach my sister and my neighbors a little. One day, I hope to be able to offer them the opportunity to work with me so that, together, we can continue to shape the future we want for our children.
"I have three beautiful children. They are my reason for getting up every morning to work. I long to see them graduate with university degrees. I want them to become good men and women who have the opportunities that I didn't have. But above all, I want them to be happy and feel proud of their homeland. I also hope they can learn a little of my art and preserve it as a treasure, as it means so much to me. It is art that has given me what I have and what I hope to have someday.
"I'm grateful for opportunities like this — to be part of a family of artisans. We feel your support and are confident that our work will find its way to families who value handmade arts and crafts.""