Learning to Weave in Guatemala!

Weaving workshop in Guatemala

Months ago, I started planning a weaving workshop in Antigua. A quick Google search landed me at Art Workshops in Guatemala and after some emails back and forth, I had a weaving workshop booked! Lumita decided that she really wanted to join me so we made it a date!

weaving workshop in GuatemalaI dabbled with weaving while in university and really loved it! (while my classmates were likely dabbling in very different things, I was busy taking extra-curricular quilting and weaving classes! I’ve always said that I am an old soul trapped in a young woman’s body!) I have always had a desire to explore textiles more (which is one of the reasons why I started sewing and dyeing silk ribbons) so signing up for a 3-day weaving workshop while on holiday felt like the perfect opportunity!

weaving workshop in GuatemalaLiza FourrΓ© started Art Workshops in Guatemala, 20+ years ago – long before community-based tourism was cool and trendy. Over the years, she has developed a wonderful network of local artisans who passionately share their skills, techniques, and traditions. The wonderful thing about doing this workshop through Liza’s organization is that we are helping to support the women who are teaching us! Liza organized a 3-day workshop for me and Lumita with Elda Lidia Tarton de Santos. Lidia has many years of experience teaching visitors backstrap weaving, opening up her home (and her family) to international weaving students.

weaving workshop in Guatemala 4aWhat a gloriously wonderful experience! Lidia and her family opened up their home to us for the 3 days. With guidance from Lidia, her sister Odilia, and Lidia’s daughters Sindy and Jacqui, Lumita and I helped to prepare the loom and then learned how to weave and even add in some simple (and colourful!) designs.

weaving workshop in GuatemalaAnd Lumita did so wonderfully! I’ll be honest, I totally expected her to get bored and give up after a short time (she has a history of that…). Lumita charmed her way into our teachers’ hearts, just as they have into our’s! They were so patient and helpful with her, especially when she would say “Yo quiero hacer” (“I want to do it”). This has been such a positive experience for her that she is already talking about doing more weaving once we are back in Peterborough!

weaving workshop in Guatemala I am thrilled with all that we did in the 3-day workshop! Not bad for a couple of backstrap weaving newbies!

weaving workshop in Guatemala

At the end of the 3 days, we headed off with our semi-completed projects and EVERYTHING that we would need to continue our projects at home (the loom with all of its accessories, the cotton thread, and hopefully enough knowledge to finish up!).

We also left with some wonderful new friends and I hope to return again…

weaving workshop in Guatemala

In the left photo is Lidia’s daughter Jacqui (unfortunately, her other daughter Sindy was out when we took this photograph), the kind and generous Lidia, Lidia’s gloriously friendly husband Pancho, and Lidia’s equally kind and generous sister Odilia.

Muchas gracias por todo, Lidia y todo su familia. Espero de regresar pronto para apprendir y compartir mas. Abrazos de nostros!



2 thoughts on “Learning to Weave in Guatemala!

  1. Hi, I was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala and left when I was six years old as my parents decided to make their home in Canada. I have only returned three times: when I was 15, 17 and 21 years old. I am n ow 45 years old and it is time to go back! Although I am a grade school teacher, I have training in Fashion Design and Construction and love to sew and crochet. I also knit a little and have dabbled in simple weaving (child’s kit). My mom wants to go to Antigua, Guatemala and stay for some time. I really want to learn to backstrap weave. Can you give me more information about where you went? Thanks, Silvia πŸ™‚

    • Hi Silvia! Thanks so much for your comment. Guatemala was my favourite Central American country that we travelled to! Antigua was GORGEOUS! We found a lovely rental through Airbnb. As far as learning to backstrap weave, I really really really recommend Art Workshops Guatemala – Liza is wonderful and the teachers we met were glorious! In fact, today I am putting a little package of my handmade glass beads to send down to Liza and the wonderful teachers we had… πŸ™‚ Here is the link to the Art Workshops Guatemala website: http://www.artguat.org/ and just get in touch with Liza FourrΓ© – she is wonderfully kind and has lots of contacts and is very helpful! Please keep me posted if you make it down – I would love to hear all about it! πŸ™‚

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