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Santa Cruz Women's Cooperative

Artisan Organization: Santa Cruz Women's Cooperative

Country: Central America

This small group of women that live in the rural communities in the municipality of Santa Cruz del Quiché uses palm as the primary material for creating handicrafts, an activity that they have inherited from their ancestors. For many years, production was limited to braids that were used for making hats. It was merely a marginal activity, but around the year 2002, this was left in the past. Thanks to market demands, the artisans saw the need to create new items and increase the size of their client group.

"We make each piece with a lot of passion. We know that we have transferred part of our cultures into them, which have become a part of the generations that we represent today. Our palm handicrafts are made entirely by hand. The inherent virtue of the palm ensures that these pieces are the finest within the collection of natural fiber handicrafts that exist in the market. Creating a piece requires patience, mastery and above all, many hours of work.

"The economic condition of our associates has been a very difficult hurdle to overcome. This group has been a great help to every one of our artisans. Not only are they helped economically, but also emotionally. Together they have achieved a lot of things that have helped them forge their own path, which allows them to participate in society, helping their families with the earnings that they make with the sale of their work.

"With big dreams and hopes for the future, these artisans show off their treasures as they seek recognition. They preserve this disappearing art, forming part of a cultural legacy." "