Campana Abaj is a family business located in Totonicapán, Guatemala. Campana Abaj is Spanish and Kiche for ringing stone. in which the family drew inspiration from local sacred ringing stone to name their company after. The products that they make are all hand weaved scarves, table runners and other table items. The way these products are produced is by a Spanish Foot Loom, which is all human powered. These weavers have a special hexagonal pattern signature and a very high-quality acrylic and cotton thread is used. When weaving these products, it is extremely complex and time-consuming and requires all the weavers to have a mental inventory of the patterns in their head to make the weaving process go faster. This skill has been passed down in the family for seven generations and the different weavers are Miguel, Juan, Francisca, and Josue Hernandez Tax.
Escudo Textiles is located in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. The name Escudo, which translates into the shield, was chosen because of the many mountains that surround and protect the city. The women who weave are named Eluvia, Inocenta, Lesbia and Olga. These weavers use a pre-Columbian, backstrap weaving technique. Traditionally, backstrap weaving is a female's domain since the creation of textiles is a metaphor for the creation of new life. The women who do this weaving, produce items like wall hangings, scarves, table runners and various types of bags.
Ajkem Textiles is located in Totonicapán, Guatemala and the main weaver is Pablo Chuc and occasionally his daughter Paola who will help him with weaving. The various materials Pablo uses for his products are high-quality acrylic and cotton thread. They have adapted their textiles and designs to fit a more modern style that will attract the current market. In the past they have created traditional Guatemalan Sientas which are traditional hair and head wrap like items that are worn by Mayan women on special occasions. They have adapted their business over time and have added more modern items such as earrings, ties, and bracelets. They use a smaller loom that mixes techniques of a Spanish Foot loom and a traditional back strap loom. This type of loom allows for Pablo to make smaller items with extremely intricate details such as the animals and patterns he uses in his items.
We have had a relationship with Julio Lopez for many years. He uses a traditional kick-wheel for his pottery. Maya Heritage emphasizes custom orders for buyers willing to pay a premium for quality hand-made products. Julio not only creates these beautiful custom pottery pieces, but also builds his own kilns in his shop.
sweaters by Esau
Sweaters by Esau is a family business run by Esau and his wife Olga in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Esau learned how to make sweaters and other various knitted items from his father. Each pattern on the sweaters were hand programmed and made by Esau. He uses various types of thread like cotton, wool, and acrylic. Esau uses a knitting machine that he slides by hand to make his products. Most of Esaus orders are custom made to the consumer, we are able to take your desired measurements and send them to Esau so he can make a unique piece just for you.
We also source our textiles from the Ajpu Association in Totonicapán, Guatemala. The association uses a Spanish foot loom and a Jaspe technique. In this technique they use thread that has been pre-dyed in a patterned way to make their textiles. Though we have a textile partnership with the Ajpu Association we are more involved with them when it comes to their Credit Union, Water Filter and Wooden Stove business. The Ajpu Associations biggest mission is to strive for socially sustainable development and focus a lot on environmentally sustainable projects that can help the quality of life in Guatemala.
st. Francis pottery
Proprietor Santos Gutierrez is also a ceramicist but focuses on small scale items including ocarinas which are popular at our sales events. The ocarinas are a symbol of life and were used everywhere in Guatemala to celebrate the birth of a child, at a celebration or dance, and even at funerals to celebrate someones life. Santoss love for making ocarinas came from his grandmother who taught him how to make them when he was young.
In San Lucas, we partner with Toribio and Andres Chajil who oversee a reforestation project. Part of their work includes repurposing fallen trees into wooden spoons. They also use this project to educate children in San Lucas about climate change and sustainability. These products are a favorite at our sales event back in the United States. The color and pattern of each spoon is completely unique because it comes from different fallen trees.