Guatemalan Weavers Fair Promotes Ethical Commerce in the United States

The Denver, Colorado, US Textile Show promotes ethical and fair trade by displaying handwoven Guatemalan textiles on a back loom.


Currently, in Denver, Colorado, in the United States, an exhibition of textiles is being held, handcrafted by Guatemalan craftsmen who promote ethical trade, and who are committed to contributing to improving people’s working conditions.

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In addition, Fair Trade, an international movement that fights for greater global justice in the economic and social spheres and the protection of human rights and the environment, is being promoted.

This show takes place at Café Convivio, the first fully bilingual Guatemalan-inspired café owned by women in Denver, US, who are part of the non-profit organization, Friendship Bridge.

The gallery consists of 15 handwoven cloths on a back loom. Guatemalan güpiles are known for their exceptional embroidery. Each güpil design is specific to different geographies in Guatemala.

Francesca, for example, made two-piece arrows to represent solula. “The huebel will always be red…it’s the color of the original design. It stands out from the crowd because it has long sleeves and a separately sewn neck piece. The belt (the second piece of the garment) is something that defines a Guatemalan woman,” explains Francesca, who learned to weave from her mother while she was at By the age of seven, we feel like something’s missing when we don’t have our tailoring.

“I am very proud of the artisans who created these groups,” says Maya Colop Morales, director of the Friendship Bridge Handicraft Program, which seeks to support Guatemalan artisans living in poverty to grow their businesses.

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Convivio Café owners Vivi Lemus and Kristin Lacy anticipate that they will continue to host temporary exhibitions in their café that can connect their customers with Latin American culture while they enjoy coffee grown and roasted by Guatemalan farmers.

Aileen Morales

"Beer nerd. Food fanatic. Alcohol scholar. Tv practitioner. Writer. Troublemaker. Falls down a lot."

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