Our staff are all indigenous Guatemalans, both women and men, from the department of Sololá. Here are some of our voices.
I am Silvia Menchú, a Kaqchikel woman. I remember my mother who always longed to find a better life free of violence for me and my seven sisters and brother. She told my sisters and I to study hard, to not think of boyfriends and be wary of men, and to not linger in the streets where dangerous people roamed. However she never spoke to us of sexual violence. Now I am an adult woman, I dedicate all my efforts to ensure no woman is a victim of violence.
I am Josefina, a young Kaqchikel woman and mother of a 12-year-old boy. When I embroider I feel I am giving the best of myself and my situation to support other women. I greatly identify with my work. In my veins runs a thirst for liberty and justice for women.
I am Manuela Cocom, a Kiche’ woman. My greatest dream has been for a better life. When I embroider with my friends and peers I live the best moments of my life. We laugh together, we feel equal without any difference. No one judges the figures we create, and we feel happy to see ourselves progress. I learned to sew as a young girl, watching my mother and other women in the community doing the same. To this day I continue to do it. I had always sat alone and never understood why to value this work. But when I met my friends in ADEMKAN, I realized there are ways to advance oneself.
I love the jokes we tell as we embroider, as they help me to forget the struggles of daily life. Before I was afraid to gather with other women, and I did not believe in our abilities. But through embroidering together, I learned to value and believe in myself. I left the fear I had for so many years, trapped in violence. Now I call see all I am, I participate when I am invited, and I believe that I still have a bright future despite my age.