We had the pleasure to visit with a women's cooperative in San Juan La Laguna, on the shores of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. This village contains numerous indigenous women's cooperatives and groups who expertly use natural dyes and loom fabrics, both with back-strap loom and foot loom. The dyes for our totes
have been produced using indigo (blue mist), saffron and cumin (melon), and natural charcoal and tree barks (cocoa). The women are already expert dyers and weavers, having been brought up from childhood to master this art form. Learning to dye organically by using readily available raw materials in their villages we hope will help to wean them from their dependence on industrial dyes, many of which are injurious to the environment, to themselves and their families. Successfully marketing their products will provide them with a crucial income stream and will reinforce their interest in this alternative way to return color to their extraordinary landscapes.