Ajkem’a Loy’a, San Lucas Toliman

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I stayed in Antigua for 6 weeks, studying Spanish intensively. I wanted to be able to communicate better with the women we are working with. I joined the summer team of students visiting the women of Ixokiin Santiago Zamora and I visited the women of Ajkem’a Loy’a and Barco in San Lucas Toliman a few times.

I brought the finished tracksuit to the women of Ajkem’a Loy’a; I wanted them to see the final product. Together with students from the Fashion Area of Study in the Integrated Design program of Parsons, we had cut and hand sewn the beautiful pieces of fabric the women of Ajkem’a Loy’a had woven into a series of 8 track suits, 3 men’s and 5 women’s suits.

Gijs Frieling the director of W139 in the first fully W139 finished track suit
Gijs Frieling the director of W139 in the first fully W139 finished track suit

We embroidered all the names of the women and of the students who had worked on each suit in the back panels of the top. The women were excited to see the suits. We drank coca-cola and ate Telma’s cookies as we had done each afternoon in January 2009 when we developed the weaving and the patterns for the initial prototype tracksuit together.

the women of Ajkem'a Loy'a looking at the finished tracksuits. Sandra is checking out the hand stitching by the students
the women of Ajkem’a Loy’a looking at the finished tracksuits. Sandra is checking out the hand stitching by the students
Gloria and Romelia
Gloria and Romelia
Ruth and Caterina
Ruth and Caterina
Romelia made a shirt for her daughter Lilly from the prototype fabrics
Romelia made a shirt for her daughter Lilly from the prototype fabrics

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