The Weaver's Shop

This is what Guatemala is all about.  We took a trip to Momostenango to learn how weavings (rugs, blankets, etc.) are made.  We came away with much more.

Luis and his wife Thelma taught us each how to comb wool so it's soft, thread a loom, and dye wool without the use of chemicals.  During this process, I talked to Luis and his son Guillermo (who has been weaving since he was 5).  It takes 8 days of work for one person to create a rug like the red one you see in the photo.  8 DAYS!  The amazing thing is that Luis was only charging 150 Quetzales (about $20) for each rug.  Imagine... 8 days of work for $20!  Now... I know what you're thinking... "Sure ... but stuff is cheap in Guatemala!"  

Well... to give you an idea of the situation people face here, a pack of M&M's costs just over 7 Quetzales.  A gallon of milk costs 24 Quetzales.  So... even if Luis makes 100% profit, his week's wage can buy 10 packs of M&Ms and 3 gallons of milk. Luis is not the exception... he's the rule.  Twelve families own 80% of the land in Guate.  The majority of workers outside the city are farmers or skilled laborers like Luis who make around 30 Quetzales per day (4 packs of M&Ms and some change).

Even though this family has far more work than money left at the end of the month, they smile as if they have not a care in the world.  Thelma invited us all into her kitchen.  It had clay walls and a concrete platform for burning wood (the stove).  She made fresh tortillas for us, and even showed us how to make them.  She fed us and welcomed us.  When se heard that our fellow volunteer's parents were into weaving, she invited them all to come and stay the night when they were in Guatemala.  In fact, this invitation was extended to us all.  They had nothing, but gave everything.

Today, we saw Christ in the face of strangers.  I'm sure our paths will cross again.

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