Few women in Chajul are able to earn an income, but our Artisan Program is changing this by providing women with the opportunity to put their traditional weaving skills to work for a fair paycheck. The scholars in our Youth Development Program and their mothers employ traditional back-strap weaving techniques to create beautiful hand-woven artisan products. Our artisans weave scarves, shawls, bracelets, and placemats. Mothers work alongside staff to develop new designs, discuss fair wages, and create works of art. Artisan scholars create our beaded products such as necklaces, earrings, rings, and bracelets. In turn, Limitless Horizons Ixil purchases all the products from the artisans and sells them internationally to raise necessary funds for our programs.
The benefits of the program are threefold:
Income: Mothers are able to support their family financially; scholars earn money to invest in their education.
Independence: Income means decision-making power over how money is spent. For the first time, a mother can buy her child a notebook or pay for her child’s healthcare expenses, rather than needing to ask her husband for money to support their child to thrive.
Involvement: The artisans come into the Limitless Horizons Ixil Community Center to drop off finished products on a regular basis, and we use this time intentionally to build relationships. This trust between staff and mothers enables us to openly discuss their child’s academic progress and engage them in their child’s success.