I arrived in Guatemala a little over 2 weeks ago. Although the trip was a last minute decision, the intention was clear: to connect with artisans and create new items for this newly launched SEE ONLY LOVE website. I had a short window to get everything done but I was determined and the work began as soon as my plane hit the ground.
The textile markets take place in Panajachel, a small town located on Lake Atitlan, every Tuesday and Friday. I landed in Guatemala City on Monday afternoon, hopped in a bus for a 3 ½ hours winding drive, arrived in a sweet little Bed and Breakfast, grabbed my bag and set out to connect with some weavers. After curiously dropping into one little tienda (shop) after another, I finally found the artist I felt most aligned with, laid out the crystals I had brought with me and shared some design ideas with him for new crystal weavings.
After a peaceful night’s sleep, lulled by the sound of the lake’s ripples, I woke up for sunrise, blessed the day with a few sun salutations, followed by a deep meditation and mentally prepared for the work that would unfold.
Although I had a clear vision for the bag designs and the colors I most wanted to collect, I felt a slight overwhelm as soon as I arrived and re-witnessed the plethora of textile options to choose from. Thankfully, in true Guatemalan form, most of the sales people remembered me from my last trip there and I was greeted with hugs, smiles and a willingness to support me in my mission.
I sat on the ground as piles and piles of potential Huipils and Cortes began to form like giant rainbow mountains all around me. All of a sudden, the sense of feeling overwhelmed began to dissipate and was replaced by joy, inspiration and excitement about the potential of this project that I had envisioned. I realized in that moment that if I could pull off what I intended to accomplish I might really be able to make a difference in the lives of the people I had grown to love.
Five hours later, I had carefully selected a large amount of textiles, packed them into bags and was ready to make the boat journey towards San Marcos, the town where the magic would unfold. A couple of friends offered to help me transport fabrics from the market across the lake to the artisan who would be constructing the bags. Their presence alone made me feel so supported and loved.
As soon as I stepped onto the boat, felt the lake below and re-witnessed the majesty of the volcanoes along the surface of the water, tears began to swell in my eyes. I was home and exactly where I was supposed to be. Nothing had ever felt more certain.
The next few weeks included multiple trips back and forth to the markets, carefully selecting fabrics, transporting them back to the artisans, connecting with more artisans and deepening my involvement and understanding of the community and it's needs. I have never felt more grateful or excited about a project and I am excited to share all that's been created here with you!
From my Heart to your Heart with so much LOVE,
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