13 Batz' - tejidos y bordados
Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala
June 2019 - March 2020

“This project has changed my life because I have begun to recover the wisdom of my ancestors. Through intergenerational meetings I have learned some of the ancestral wisdom and sacred rituals of my culture. I have learned to value the depth of this legacy that has remained through time and in the soul of my people.”

—Dolores Quievac Sapalú

This project is an example of the beauty of learning and honoring culture through art. Through the medium of textiles, participants will learn and understand the cultural and spiritual richness contained in their traditional weavings and embroidery.

At a community school of textiles, girls and boys are taught according to the principles, worldview, cosmogony and spirituality of the Tz’utujil people. For nine months, students study weaving and embroidery, learning about the relationship and importance of fabric as a way of strengthening their knowledge of Mayan history, mathematics, the Mayan calendar Cholq’iij, the principles for good living, and actions and awareness for the protection of nature and life itself.  

The vision of this project is that through textiles the broken thread of life can be reconstructed and become a path of healing.

In addition to weaving classes, intergenerational meetings will be held to facilitate the exchange of knowledge among Tz’utujil grandmothers, adults, youth and children. Through forest walks, students will deepen their relationship with mother nature and their recognition of nature as a source of wisdom. There will also be celebrations of Mayan spirituality through sacred fires. 

All classes will be developed in the Tz’tujil language as a way to honor, preserve and continue the words of the ancestors. 


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