Rosmery Elizabeth Pacheco
Rosmery still remembers getting up at 4am, hopeful and excited as she traveled four hours by bus to her first rug hooking class in 2009. For a young girl of 16, with little schooling and few opportunities, this was a determined first step on a journey which would see her graduate as the youngest of seven rug hooking teachers in 2012. Currently Rosmery combines teaching rug hooking with a Multicolores internship position which she took up in 2014. This remarkable story is a testament to Rosmery’s courage, determination, and artistic flair. She is proud to be considered an artist and role model by her peers.
Yolanda Calgua Morales
When asked what she most likes about being a rug hooking teacher, Yolanda replied, ‘teaching makes me happy; it’s a privilege to bring this opportunity to women in other communities. My hope is that they can make a better life for themselves and their children.’ When drinking water came to Yolanda’s village, income from the sale of her rugs enabled her to buy the faucets and piping for six families. Since then, she has supported her two children through high school and made improvements to her home. Yolanda still remembers hooking her first rug, it was made in memory of her grandmother and incorporated some of the designs that she remembered from her grandmother’s ‘huipil’ (traditional blouse). More >>
Glendy Emiliana Muj García
Glendy is a talented artist, rug hooking teacher and mother of six children. She likes nothing more than seeing her students’ self esteem grow as she encourages them to discover their rug hooking talents. Rug hooking has enabled Glendy to combine working from home with looking after her young family. With income from rug sales, Glendy’s children are attending school and she has made some improvements to her home. She never imagined that people would admire her rugs. She is modest, kind and generously shares her talent with other women.
Zoila Calgua Morales
Zoila is a gifted rug hooking artist. Her organization of pattern, color and scale have led to exceptional designs. Mary Anne Wise has described her as, ‘one of the most talented women I have ever worked with.’ Zoila has one son, Nestor; currently her husband is working in the United States. Together they have been saving to build a home in the community of Quijel. Zoila loves rug hooking because, ‘the rug is like a canvas that I can fill with colors, symbols and designs that represent our Maya culture’.
Micaela Churunel Julajuj
In 2013, Micaela was one of fifty two students who learned to hook rugs in their rural communities thanks to roving rug hooking teachers: Yolanda Calgua, Glendy Muj and Rosemery Pacheco. Thanks to these classes a new talent was discovered. Micaela has developed her own recognizable style, something artists the world-over strive for.
Tomasa Ventura Cumez
In 2015, Tomasa received a personal achievement award. She was recognized for her motivation and work ethic. Her philosophy has been to listen, learn, ask for advice and then practice, practice, practice! She appreciates the level of commitment required to be a good rug hooking artist. In the two years since she started rug hooking, Tomasa has made 24 rugs, she works hard so that she can improve her life. Her income has helped her parents support their family of twelve.
Tomasa Virginia Morales Macario
Despite the challenges of being orphaned at a young age, Virginia has set herself a clear goal: to go to university. Alongside her own personal determination, she sees income from the sale of her rugs as central to helping her achieve this goal. Virginia was one of two young rug hookers selected to participate in Multicolores internship program. The rug hooking project has opened up new horizons for Virginia, she has enjoyed meeting rug hookers from outside Guatemala, and is proud to have her rugs sold in international markets.
Rosa Humbelina de León García
Rosa is naturally creative and always eager to learn. She started to embroider at 12 years old, later she learned pine basketry and jumped at the chance to participate in the first rug hooking class in 2009. She loves rug hooking because it enables her to express herself freely and creatively. With the income from her rugs she supports her children’s education. She has eight daughters, the eldest of which has just graduated as a teacher, a proud moment for Rosa.
Carmen Maldonado Garcia
Having never been to school, Carmen had earned a living by collecting, and selling firewood from the mountains. Then she heard about a rug hooking class and was determined to try. Carmen attended Mary Anne Wise’s first rug hooking class in 2009, and all subsequent classes, she overcame many obstacles and challenges. In 2012 she was one of seven women selected to train as rug hooking teachers. Today she is mentoring others in her village. Motivation, perseverance, unearthed artistic talent, access to a new opportunity, and success in the marketplace transformed the way Carmen views herself —– and the world.
Yessika Calgua Morales
Yessika was delighted when one of her rugs was selected for display at an international exhibition to celebrate Maya textiles in 2013. She takes her design inspirations from the traditional blouses ‘huipils’ worn by Maya women. The huipils are rich in visual imagery and feature ancient symbols and motifs which represent Maya cosmovision, femininity and nature. All this Yessika translates into her rugs to make them unique pieces of art reflective of Maya culture. She enjoys rug hooking because it is artistically satisfying and brings economic security to her family. With income from her rug hooking, Yessika would also like to complete her high school education.