On the heels of the rug hookers spectacular debut at the International Folk Art Market, our President, Reyna Pretzantzin, orchestrated two workshops last month. Reaching out to a community we’ve not worked with before, Reyna identified eight motivated women eager for an opportunity to learn rug hooking. It’s important to note: the decision to train more women was reached after careful deliberation because we are committed to purchasing all rugs that meet quality and design standards. The training workshop was led by two of our talented rug artisans.

A second workshop focused on designing large-scale hooked rugs. Large-scale rugs have inherent design issues and, because none of the women can afford to hook a rug that will not sell, Reyna offered this workshop to give the women a few more ‘tools’ for their design ‘toolbox’. Once again Reyna called upon artists within the Association to conduct this workshop.

Back home in Wisconsin Cooperative co-founders, Mary Anne and Jody, eagerly awaited news about the workshops. Working with our dedicated team in Guatemala, Mary Anne and Jody introduced the technique, trained a handful of women as teachers, participated in the International Folk Art Market and created market demand for rugs produced by nearly sixty rug hookers in just under five years. The women now possess the skills to train others, and are.

Mary Anne Wise/Co Founder, Guatemalan Rug Hooking Project: “Imagining what was occurring in these two workshops in Guatemala, made us feel flushed with pride and honored to play our part in this extraordinary process. That these women have overcome nearly unspeakable hardships reminds us all that once in a while the Universe makes things ‘right’ and fills me with hope, again.”

Mary Anne and Jody, we’re thankful for you, too.

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