Trama Textiles is a women's weaving cooperative where they teach classes in Mayan backstrap loom weaving. The instruction is one-on-one and you can come in to work any time you want, M-F 9-5. The teachers have years of experience in explaining each of the steps clearly, and if you don't speak Spanish, there are always English-speaking volunteers who can help translate for you. If you have ten hours you can make a scarf, or they have more complicated projects with traditional designs. It was one of my favorite ways to spend time in Xela, learning about Mayan culture and practicing my Spanish.
The shop has products from all over the highlands of Guatemala, so if you have limited time to shop you can find a good variety of traditional items. You can feel the difference in quality between Trama products and products in the markets. The women take pride in the quality of their products and they're very concerned about their reputation. My friend had a problem with the zipper on her bag and she brought it back to them, and they replaced it for her. The prices at Trama are a little higher than in other places, but I feel good knowing that my money is going directly to help the weaver and maintain a non-profit organization.
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