Thursday, April 2, 2009

Trama Textiles

Trama Textiles

"TRAMA is an association of 400 backstrap loomweavers in the western highlands of Guatemala. Here at TRAMA, we offer high quality products that ensure fair wages to the craftspeople. We also offer hands-on classes for individuals wanting to learn about traditional weaving processes."

Trama Textiles is a worker-owned women's weaving association located in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala that offers training to weaving cooperatives throughout the country. They enable other cooperatives to provide qualite, fair-trade textile goods. It began in 1988 during the most violent years of the Guatemalan Civil War. Trama keeps the indigenous backstrap loom weaving alive in the face of growing Westernization in Central Amerca as well as spreading this knowledge to travelers from other cultures.

Trama Textiles is composed of women from a variety of different cultures and mother tongues who unite under their passion for weaving. This enables Spanish-speaking representatives from different communities to learn from each other and take their empowering knowledge back home.

Dollar donations can be made directly through their website and they also accept donations of computer-related goods, office supplies, weaving books, and baskets. If spending time in Quetzaltenango there is also a weaving school that for as low as $5/hour or $25/sample cloth (you can also make scarves, table runners, or your own special project) you can learn the art of Mayan backstrap weaving. They also accept bilingual volunteers to work in graphic design, photography, marketing, product sales, store management, and translation.

Trama also has an online store to buy their high quality, handmade, fair trade textiles at extremely reasonable prices.

And last but not least, Trama has begun a scholarship program to help children from the communities receive an education. For just $13 you can send a child to school for a month or $156 can send a child to school for a year.