Doña Maria, weaving with eyes close to her work
We continue to raise funds to initiate this project in Mexico. Meanwhile, I’m sharing news from Guatemala, where we just spent three weeks facilitating this project.
With collaborator Juana Ramos, we visited weavers Doña Maria and her daughters Elena and Estela in Santa Catarina Palopó. Fifty-eight year-old Doña Maria had this to say about her several month’s experience with the bench: “I’ve been weaving since I was thirteen years old; always with a lot of pain, but it’s how I've supported my family. Weaving with this bench is totally different, because I feel comfortable, and each weaving advances more quickly. With the bench I'm so happy weaving --sometimes it even makes me want to sing!
Juana translated Maria’s words from their indigenous language to Spanish while we were in Santa Catarina. Later on, she offered her own reflection: “As I was listening to Doña Maria I realized that the bench has given her something very special: access to the recognition that she has the ability to make herself comfortable.”
"For example, Maria told me that using the bench made her aware of how much she had been bending her body while weaving the complicated brocade designs. As a result of this awareness, Maria started to experiment with where she ties the loom. Now, instead of bending her body she accommodates her failing eyesight by tying the loom higher. I am so inspired by this older woman’s openness to change, her gratitude for the changes the bench has made in her life, and her desire to share the bench with her daughter.”
Thank you for supporting the ergonomic bench project. Please help us spread the word, so that we can implement this project in Mexico soon!
Doña Maria with daughters Estela (L) and Elena (R)
Estela on the ergonomic bench, weaving