My sister and I accompanied tour guides, Jim and Stephanie, on a guided tour of the villages of San Juan, San Pedro, and San Antonio Palopo on Lake Atitlan. San Antonio was not part of the original request, however, Jim was more than willing to accommodate so that we could check out the town’s ceramics and the sunset from the cathedral overlooking the lake.
Jim takes pride in supporting local artisans and gaining their friendship, trust, and respect. This translates into a seamless tour experience that does not feel like a tour, but more like a glimpse into the lives and homes of Jim’s friends around the lake, during which you are welcomed more as a friend than a tourist. This was a truly great experience, and I have great respect for the work that Jim does to enable Lake Atitlan’s artists to maintain their culture without being exploited.
Lake Atitlan Guatemala Weaving Workshop. The Tz’utujil weavers of San Juan La Laguna are well known for making their own pure organic cotton thread and the use of natural dyes. By using traditional techniques, styles, and designs, the women of San Juan La Laguna work to preserve weaving traditions for future generations.
Lake Atitlan Guatemala Weaving Workshop
Lake Atitlan Textiles Workshop takes place in our instructor’s home. This is a wonderful opportunity to not only learn to weave, but also to spend time with a Tz’utujil Maya family, experiencing indigenous life in a small village.
As a participant you will gain a deeper understanding of the cultural significance of one of the oldest forms of artistic expression by working and learning directly from the Tz’utujil women of San Juan.
You will learn how they grow their own cotton, harvest it by hand, spin it using ancient techniques, and then use natural dyes and colorants derived from locally found plants, tree, bark, berries, leaves, roots, wood, and insects in the Lake Atitlan area.
A few of the plants that are used are coconut shell, pericón, pepper, purple basil, hibiscus flowers, and achiote, among many others.