Monday, May 7, 2007




May 24, 2007.- Today we took a lot of children's clothes, blankets, towels and blouses that we had made from fabric donations and gave them out to the Women's Group. They were all very happy to receive new clothes for their children, especially with the wet season coming, when clothes do not dry too quickly.



One of the projects that is very close to our heart is enabling the people who wear traditional clothing to be able to maintain their culture. We have a project of buying and giving second hand Guipils( pronounced weepeel) and Cortes ( traditional skirt) at a fraction of the cost of new ones and giving them to children and adults who cannot afford to buy new ones.

These children received "new" Cortes and Guipils yesterday. They were thrilled.

The main reason that there are less children wearing traditional clothing in Guatemala is because the family cannot afford to buy it for them. The cost of new hand woven clothing is very expensive. If you would like to donate a Guipil ( blouse) or a Corte ( skirt) for a child - we can buy them second hand for around $10 US each. If you would like to donate a new Guipil or Corte to a child - the costs is approx. $25 US for a blouse and approx. $40 for a traditional skirt.

The woven belts that they use cost approx. $7. These costs are way beyond the means of many families here who would like their children to be able to wear the traditional clothing but because of economic hardships are forced to buy second hand western clothing.


The great beauty of Guatemala is the color and design. The traditional clothing is unique to Guatemala. Unfortunately, due to the cost of thread many women can no longer afford to weave their own clothing or their families. We are seeing more and more children and adults buying cheap, second hand western clothing because that is all that they can afford.

They would dearly love to be able to continue using their traditional clothing but the cost of the thread makes it almost impossible for many families to buy it. We are looking for sponsors who would like to help this endangered tradition continue and donate towards thread for traditional “cortes” (skirts) and guipile's”( blouses) .

Each village has its own designs for guipiles but for example, a traditional guipil for San Jorge la Laguna costs Q350 ($ price for a “corte” or skirt is Q300($40). These garments usually can be worn for more than 5 years. For a child a “corte” costs Q150 ($20) and a “guipil” costs Q250 ($33.00). These costs are approximate because of the variation in each village.

In addition to supporting their unique cultural and traditional values it also enables them not only to clothe themselves but also augment their economic situation by the sale of their own weavings.

Without money to buy thread the women are unable to pass down the tradition of weaving to their children and this unique Mayan skill, which has been developed over millennia, is in serious danger of being lost to future generations.

Each traditional garment is hand woven of natural fibers. They are beautiful, visually pleasing and unique to each cultural group. They are extremely practical and hardwearing enabling these textiles to be worn for many, many years then passed on in the family or re-sold and recycled.

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