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
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
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.