Each year we bring back a variety of products from our partners including wooden utensils, ceramics, jewelry, toys, and more. Below is information about some of our current partners and their products.
Our Products - Ceramics:
Mayan Heritage Pottery
In Totonicapán we also have a partnership with an artist by the name Julio Lopez and he runs the Mayan Heritage Pottery, like many of our partner he is from Mayan decent and takes great pride in it. This Household-based family business has at least one-hundred years of history ingrained in it. For the production of Julio's works of art, he first uses a foot-powered turning wheel to create all his products, then they are sun-dried, hand painted with extremely complex patterns. After that process is complete, a lead-free glaze (a mix of silica and quartz) is added and it then is fired for completion. For the care of these products they are Dishwasher safe, but like always to prolong the life of your product it is best to hand wash it.
St. Francis Pottery
Santos Gutierrez, the owner of St. Francis Pottery in Totonicapán, is a very lively man. When it comes to his pottery he looks to many things from his inspiration including his father, pre-Columbian techniques, physics and various forms of abstract of art. He is currently a part of a cooperative that supply him with local, white clay and kilns to fire his artwork in. The majority of the items that Santos produces are tiny ceramic bowls and cups, oxidized clay plates, and his most popular items Ocarinas. An ocarina is a small handheld flute that is common in Guatemala. A very important motif that Santos draws inspiration from is the fact that a long time ago the center of Totonicapán was underwater and is called Otzya which translates into “where the fish and birds come together." Because of this story, most of his Ocarinas are made to resemble the fish and the birds that would come together in Totonicapán.
The Bulux sisters, Flori and Elfa, are the only women ceramicist in Totonicapán, Guatemala. They use black clay for their products, each product is hand formed and not turned on a turning wheel. The sisters use a human power grinding stone to crush their clay into power then add water to produce a useable form of the clay. They also use a wood fired kiln to fire their products. For the Bulux sisters' products, they do not add a glaze, which gives their products a very rustic look.
Our Products - Wooden Utensils:
Mayan Spoons of Regeneration:
Toribio Chajil is the head of the Mayan Spoons of Regeneration and a coffee grower in the Coffee Association. He runs a community reforestation education program and travels around the country to educate the youth about the environment. As a part of his reforestation education project he teachers' children to whittle wooden utensils and teach them to care for the environment around them. Toribio’s main inspiration is the idea that the death of one thing leads to the life of another. He never cuts down a whole tree to produce his products. He often uses the trimmings from shade trees that help nurture the coffee to produce wooden utensils. Each one of the trimmings is hand shaped into utensils.
*To care for your wooden products, it is recommended to hand wash the utensils as well as moisturizing them with olive oil or beeswax. This helps extend the life of your products.
Jesus Garcia is the owner of Cajeteria Ajpop in Totonicapán, Guatemala. He produces all handmade wooden products. His products include candy and jewelry boxes and traditional wooden toys. Jesus Garcia is K’iche Maya, K’iche meaning “many trees”, because of this many K’iche’ Maya have a special identity in regarding the White Pine trees. His business had been in the family for five generations. All of his products are 100% handcrafted, no power tools, no mechanical attachment and all hand painted with non-toxic acrylic paint.