El Camino de los Altos is a weaving cooperative of more than 130 Maya women living in the rural mountains of Chiapas, southern Mexico. El Camino artisans utilize back strap looms and a method of weaving called brocade that allows them to create designs as they weave.
Photo Courtesy of El Camino de los Altos
Indigenous Maya people living in Chiapas experience crippling poverty, and weaving provides employment opportunity outside of subsistence farming or migration to another country. These fair trade textiles create fair wages for artisans and allow them and their families to remain on their ancestral land and to preserve their unique culture.
Photos Courtesy of El Camino de los Altos
This region of Mexico has a rich tradition of weaving with Maya women saying that the Moon taught them to weave sacred designs. Women typically weave the majority of their families' clothing and family members wear them proudly as a symbol of solidarity and respect for ancestral ways.
Photos Courtesy of Camino de los Altos
Colors and designs are chosen by both the Maya women and a group of French designers living and working in San Cristobal. By supporting these textile artisans work in Chiapas you are helping to empower women to preserve their cultures and provide for their families and communities.