Vision of a Tourist Center in San Juan Cotzal
Until today, there exists no tourist center in Cotzal. As cooperative, we have started building a communal center in 2010 with the intention to function as a tourist center that not only provides information, but also offers practical workshops that show and teach our traditions and culture in their original form. It is our vision to complete the construction of the center, which is located at the entrance of Cotzal next to the main road. When completed, the functions of the center will be, amongst others:
- Creating a typical school for girls to learn weaving on a traditional waist backstrap loom to retain and maintain this tradition
- Creating a school for foreigners and enable them admission to the cooperative and participate in weaving workshops
- Creating a restaurant that sells typical food and demonstrates the production of traditional meals such as the ‘boxhbol’, tamalito colorado, tamalito with beans, providing these meals to visiting tourists
- Offer accommodation to visitors at the community center to generate employment opportunities for women of the cooperative
- The group’s goal is to receive systematic and comprehensive training
- Make a collective effort that promotes mutual support and product improvement and self-management
- Search market mechanism to allow the fair valuation of our work and improve our living conditions
- Make new textile products of great beauty and technical quality fabric waist. Our products are made with high quality raw material, these include bags, hats, tablecloths, table runners and scarves.
Mission for the life of the women
At the root of the civil war in 1979 – 1990 the idea for the women was to seek jobs for not having to go on farms to cut coffee. So they were looking for international markets dealing with the weaving art to not lose the tradition of their ancestors. As a cooperative, we wanted to support women that are orphans of the community and who want to support their children and facilitate for them to go to schools, and having a condition of life with good health for the whole community.
The women dream to strengthen their activities and develop new ones, like a tree grows into the sky. Women make up the ‘roots’ the tree and its textile production is the ‘trunk’ . From here, they can grow their plans like ‘branches’. They dream of having their own land and building, where they can house a school for activities and inherit the girls their traditions, a store in conjunction with an exhibition of their work, and a dining – cafe where they can serve their typical meals to visitors. A place with ‘rain’ And ‘sun’ enough. Building the center with traditional materials and incorporating ancient symbols has been an important part of the construction. The cooperative works together in the hope to fulfill their dream and make it come true, it gives the women hope and means a stable life.