Guatemalan Artisans: Natural Dye Women's Weaving Community


Tinte Maya is a collective of 25 weaving artisan women from San Juan La Laguna, a small community by Lake Atitlán, Guatemala, who use natural plant dye techniques and weaving traditions to design and create wearable art. Their craft and our collaboration allow them to earn a livelihood, be breadwinners in their homes, send their children to school, and to preserve their artisan traditions. Andeana has partnered with this Artisan community to produce Guatemalan Intention Bands for our Straw Palm Hat collection.

While they have faced a lack of opportunities in their lives, this group of women work together to promote these core values:

  1. Equal opportunities for women. The local culture in Guatemala does not offer many economic opportunities for women, leaving the men in control over the family’s finances. TinteMaya enables each individual woman to transform her weaving skills into an economic opportunity and allow the work to be done at home while still taking care of the family. The weaving has created financial opportunities for the women and 90% of the sale of their products goes directly back to a female weaver. With this money, they can make spending decisions and contribute to the wellbeing of their children. Every purchase pushes gender equality and financial independence in the right direction.

  2. Ecological Sustainability. The use of natural plant dyes promotes local biodiversity and plant health, minimizes water pollution, and creates organic waste for fertilizer. In order to divert waste, Tinte Maya uses recycled material in some weavings by harvesting thread from used sweaters and other sustainable techniques minimizing material waste.

  3. Cultural Preservation. The Tinte Maya weavers are practicing ancient cultural weaving and dying traditions that have been vanishing in their parent’s generation. They are working to preserve techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation and they have been teaching young women how to continue their weaving. They are very proud of their Mayan traditions.

Juana is a natural dye artisan, weaver, Tz'utujil Maya woman, mother, and member of this cooperative of women artisans who are building better lives through their art. In the past these women have had to ask their husbands for money because they had no way of earning an income on their own. Now the women have a bit of economic and personal independence and they are earning money to feed their families and cover the costs of their children's education. The women weavers of Tinte Maya had a vision of a reality where their children could receive an education and pursue their dreams in their lives, value natural resources, and the culture of their community. Through weaving, this culture of gender equality is now being passed on to the next generation of children and now the women hear their daughters talking about starting their own businesses and studying and it is not just a dream, but reality. 

For more information about our woven intention bands, contact us today.