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Women Weavers of Tecpan

Artisan Organization: Women Weavers of Tecpan

Country: Central America

"We are a group of enterprising women who work to exemplify responsibility and to a job well done. Most of us were born and raised in the community of Tecp√°n. Not all of us were able to go to school, because not too many years ago, families didn't send their daughters to school. Instead girls were taught housekeeping skills at home.

"From a very early age, we worked in the fields and learned to weave at home. Traditionally, mothers and grandmothers teach their daughters to weave on a backstrap loom when we are little girls. Women also help with farming tasks in order to contribute to the family economy without neglecting the home.

"In 2003, we began working together to learn more about weaving and to support one another in a new project," Gloria Buc explains.

"At first it was really tough because we didn't know exactly what we wanted to sell but, little by little, we designed and developed our own textiles — something different, painstaking made with much love. We began crafting bookmarks and eyeglass cases. On market day, we invited all our relatives to come and buy our work. It went very well, and we received many compliments on our weavings. Eventually, we created new designs and began to offer them for sale in other places.

"As a group, we are always striving to learn, to improve our work and to create new designs. Sometimes it isn't easy to support ourselves and get the funds we need to get ahead, but we work very hard so that our project can continue to grow. We find encouragement and inspiration thinking how, with time and hard work, we can include more and more women from our village and from other communities, too.

"Weaving is a part of our culture and it helps us get ahead as we improve our technique and create new designs. Our mothers and grandmothers taught us and now it is our turn to teach our children and others. This inspires me because it is so beautiful to feel a part of each family's dreams of progress, and of every woman's dream to think that, through our work, our children will have better opportunities than we had.

"All our weavings are created by hand with all our hearts. Thank you for choosing our designs, because you are helping us to feed and educate our children and the families in our communities.""