We left Antigua today for Lake Atitlan, stopping on the way in the old Antigua, the original capital of Guatemala established by the conquistdore family Alvarez.
The church, beautifully white-washed, contains a surprise.
An enormous, colorful carpet covers the main aisle near the altar. The artist Estrada Gonzalez has created a fantastic work of art using ephemeral materials. On the top left is Jesus crying out, “Madre…(Mother!)”. Mary looks up at him, tears streaming down her checks, answering, “Hijo, aqui estoy….(Son, I am here.)”
In front of the carpet, people have left offerings of carved fruits and vegetables. Most astounding is this watermelon on which is carved the likeness of Mary.
The coop consists of 180 master weavers who live in six rural villages in the area. They weave at home so they don’t have to leave their families, but the threads are dyed and prepared for shipment in Solola.
Their products are of the finest quality, and it is good to see traditional backstrap loom weaving supported with new designs and materials, including bamboo.
The gift of each basket was made possible by a donor. Photos are taken of each family receiving the basket and sent to the donor.
l was so glad to be able to meet Abner and his family. I’m looking forward to watching his progress, which is updated by Mayan Families on a web page devoted to him. Progress of each of the over 3000 students sponsored by the organization can be followed by their respective donors.
Tomorrow we will visit some of the villages on Lake Atitlan and see Maximon, whom I have not forgotten from my last trip to Santiago Atitlan. He is unforgettable.