Flor Juanera of San Juan
Artisans from the Flor Juanera Cooperative create bright and colorful backstrap woven textiles with Ikat tying and natural dyeing techniques to make Maya Traditions' scarves and bags.
The Community of San Juan La Laguna
San Juan La Laguna is a small town in the department of Sololá, Guatemala on the southwest edge of Lake Atitlán. A beautiful community with over 6,000 residents, the majority are Tz’utujil Maya. Women in San Juan wear “huipiles,” traditional blouses, with a design strip around the neck. This design is made up of 24 squares which represents the town’s patron saint. The different colors on the huipil represent the purity and blood of Tz’utujil women, nature, the sky, and the water. Each of these elements are cornerstones to the Maya culture and are prominently featured in their dress.
History of the Flor Juanera Cooperative
The Flor Juanera Cooperative, or Xe’ Kuku’ Aab’aj in Tz’utujil, came together in 1992 out of a need for work and to provide a better life for the children of San Juan. Encarnación, Rosario, Celestina, Martina and Nicolasa founded the group with two goals: 1) provide for their families and 2) preserve the Maya Tz’utujil culture.
The Cooperative Today
The Flor Juanera Cooperative is made up of 14 artisans. Under the leadership of President Dorotea Micaela Mendoza Perez, the group meets regularly to discuss orders and other business initiatives. The group as a whole, along with each of its members, has experienced positive economic growth from the training and product orders generated by Maya Traditions. The lives of their children have also improved through the scholarships provided by Maya Traditions Foundation.