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Rocio and Elena Vazquez

Artisan Organization: Rocio and Elena Vazquez

Country: Mexico

"I was born in 1969 in a Maya community in Chiapas. I'm an honest woman, a hard worker and I love to dress up.

"As is the tradition here, my mother taught me our textiles arts. Today, I teach others. In 1996, I formed a group of artisans and set up my own workshop. Over the years, some women left while others joined us but today we are ten artisans in total. I'm the designer but we all do a bit of everything, from dresses, skirts, belts and shawls to cushion covers, table runners and other home dΓ©cor designs.

"I began learning our textile techniques when I was only ten and I've never stopped. I really love this work. My favorite technique is weaving by hand on the backstrap loom. With all these years of practice, I now find this difficult technique much easier.

"Nature provides my inspiration. In this part of Mexico, there are greenhouses that grow a variety of cut flowers and this is why the embroidery of the region depicts floral motifs.

"It's been difficult at times because there aren't many places where we can sell our work. But when I do, I feel really happy, like during vacation times when there are lots of tourists here.

"My hope is to continue working like I have so far, or even more if that's possible. I want to be able to sell our work and help my community in this way.""