How Paola Joined Our Team?

Meet Maria Paola Tzep Aju, 24, currently weaving superviser for Pixan. She stared weaving when she was 7 years old, only plain fabrics with no design, her mother thaught her. She use to see her mother weaving without any instructions and she wanted to become like her, and Paola's mother told her, you have to practice to have everything in your mind, that how her passion on weaving started. 

                                                                                                     → Paola giving weaving instructions to all the women in Xeabaj ←

                                                                                                     → Paola giving weaving instructions to all the women in Xeabaj

When she was in elementary school she had to walk for 30 minutes everyday to be able to have a better education. When she got graduated from Middle School and move to HighSchool, the school was 3 hours away from her house. She used to wake up at 3 in the morning, and at 3:30 she was waiting for a bus to pick her up, or something so she could get to school, school started at 7 am. The biggest struggle was the lack of knowledge in technology, she barely knew how to type in a typewriter and she never got the chance to use a computer and all of her classmates knew already and had access to a computer. Another struggle was the language, in her school they taugh in Spanish, and her mother language was Kiche. Antoher barrer was that her parents didn't have any money to support her, she had to share a tiny room with another person, without any light or water. As her parents didn't have any money to keep supporting her, they suggested for her to quit the school after a year of sacrifice. 

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After all this she went to Quetzaltenango, but Xela wasn't her town, at first she got lost several times. In 2013, her mother was part of the Highland Women Association, and that's how she started being part of the Women's Circles. She started participiting in the gatherings, and that's how she became part of HSP Program, the knowldege that she had on weaving helped her to become a really important person in the development of the work on the weaving project, Pixan.

She started to have different trainings and that's how her skill were developed and improved. After several months, HSP-AMA called her to become part of the organization, as a community facilitator and weaving supervisor. It has been 4 years know, Paola is in her first year of College studying Marketing and willing to keep empowering herself, and all the women in the highlands of Guatemala.  

                                                                                                                   "The future of handmade is in our hands."

                                                                                                                   "The future of handmade is in our hands."

You can support young women like Paola to have more access to opportunities. Donate here, and help Paola and more women to make their dreams come true! ♡

 

 

 

Diana Alvarado