Fundacion Tradiciones Mayas (Maya Traditions)

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Charitable Organization
, Solola
April 29, 2013 - 9:03pm
Lake Atitlan + Chimaltenango, Quiche + Verapazes
Marcelle Renkin
502 7762 2829
5 - 10
Business / Fair Trade, Education / Schools, Health / Medical

In 1988, Maya Traditions founder Jane Mintz, an experienced social worker (MSW Columbia University) and weaver herself, began working with indigenous women artisans living in poverty after surviving decades of armed conflict in Guatemala. Jane observed that their skill of backstrap weaving was a chance for them to earn a stable income for their families while working from home doing what they were already good at. Maya Traditions was founded to help these skilled artisans succeed and preserve their cultures through access to a Fair Trade global marketplace.

Today Maya Traditions is Guatemala Foundation which provides social service and scholarships supported by the production of Fair Trade products and grants from several foundations.

We provide consistent work for 85 Mayan backstrap weavers and their families. In addition, we strive to improve their quality of life by offering assistance in the areas deemed most valuable by the weaving groups.

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The Blog: Updates from Fundacion Tradiciones Mayas (Maya Traditions)

Meet the Second Annual Jane Mintz Memorial Scholarship Student

Mariela Sahon Rosales dreams of being a social worker. “When I graduate from university, I hope to be able to give back to my community and help those who didn’t have the same opportunities that I did.” In her second year of studies at Mariano Galvez University in Sololá, it seems that one of her dreams is coming true. 

Growing up with three other siblings, Mariela has been the only one with the opportunity to pursue higher education. Neither one of her parents had the opportunity to go to school, nor know how to read or write. Mariela’s mother worked for over fifteen years with Maya Traditions in the Medicinal Plant Garden.

Mariela has three more years of university until she receives her degree. She spends the majority of her time helping her mother make tortillas to sell in their small tortilleria. She studies on Saturdays, with her favorite course being Participatory Research.  In her free time, Mariela enjoys listening to music and studying.  At only 20 years old, she carries herself as if she has years more of experience. 

She is extremely grateful to receive the second annual Jane Mintz Memorial Scholarship and wishes to thank all those who have supported her in her endeavors.

For the future, Mariela hopes “to be a humble person, to lead by example and to show the world not to discriminate against people by their race. Helping others and helping my community, that’s really the basis of everything I hope to accomplish.” 


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