Two years ago, Dolores and her family lost their patriarch suddenly to a cerebral hemorrhage. This unexpected tragic event forced the older girls to leave school in order to help the family survive. Today, the women produce some of our most popular wrap bracelets. In addition to providing them with steady income, the wages provided by beading is approximately three times the standard wage for women in rural Guatemala. This family of seven has no other income aside from beading, however the women do create beautiful textiles for themselves, using the back-strap loom.
We were invited into Doloras' home near Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, to meet with her family and observe the work. The family is almost back on their feet and the older girls are excited to return to school this year, in order to finish their studies. While there was hope and laughter in the home, the absence of Dolores' husband and the girls' father was noticeable. From the hat still hanging on the wall to the unused tools strewn about, his spirit is still present. It has been a difficult time for this family, but they told us that they are grateful for the beading work, which allows them to work from home, take care of the younger children and stay together as a family unit.