Despite centuries of persistent domination and systematic racism, the backstrap loom weaving technique is a key Maya art form that has persisted intact in Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala. Cojolya is both a registered non-profit working to improve the lives of our artisans and their families, and a certified Fair Trade organization dedicated to the conservation of the tradition, not as a historical relic, but as an economically viable source of employment for our woman weavers.
The Association seeks to facilitate the professional development of each of our weavers by providing free training in areas such as sewing machine skills, jaspe dyeing, business, communication, and design. Many of our artisans have either started their own small weaving businesses, or have applied these skills to existing small enterprises.
As a proud member of the World Fair Trade Organization, the Association provides weavers with threads and looms, design services, infrastructures and the development of markets to promote sales. Cojolya Association acts according to the Ten Principles of Fair Trade, and thus aims to empower both producer and consumer through emphasizing a kind, transparent, and fair way to trade.
Read more about Cojolya's creation story, our goals, our successes, and why we care about what we do at https://cojolya.org.gt