Sewing to Success

Women in AMA have been celebrating after three new sewing machines were delivered thanks to a generous donation from Aldersgate United Methodist Church.The sewing machines were donated to AMA’s textile project House of Design of Pixan which sells high quality artisan crafts made by women participating in AMA’s Women’s Circles. House of Design Pixan involves 150 women producers specializing in sewing, embroidery and weaving and aims to eliminate the barrier between producers and design entrepreneurs in order to create innovative textile and clothing collections. For the last month, AMA has coordinated twenty participants from its Women's Circles to attend an innovative, weekly artisan workshop in bag making at a training center in Quetzaltenango. Inspired by the course, more and more women participating in the course have been coming into AMA’s workshop to practice the techniques they’ve learnt in class. AMA staff have been delighted with the women’s response to the course but then the question came, “how will we accommodate so many women in our workshop?”

The three sewing machines that Aldersgate United Methodist Church provided for the AMA workshop will not only enable more women to improve their sewing abilities under the guidance of our Production Manager but it will also give these women the opportunity to earn an extra income.

Juana, a member of the Llanos de Pinal’s Women’s Circle will now have the opportunity to perfect her sewing techniques on the new machines. “Having an industrial sewing machine here in the AMA workshop will make all the difference,” Juana told us. “I can’t afford an electric sewing machine so I sew very slowly at home and I can only sew in straight lines. Thanks to AMA I have been able to learn how to sew different stitches and I can now start to produce a new artisan line for Pixan.” Juana has shown such potential in the last two months she is now making skirts that will be sold at AlterNatives fair-trade store in the United States.

These three machines have sown the seeds of hope and are the first steps towards providing women with a sustainable means of income generation.

Here in AMA we are always looking forward. We have set ourselves the goal of raising enough funds in order to buy a further 22 sewing machines so that more women have the opportunity to come and produce here in the AMA workshop. If you would like to donate towards this cause follow this link.