In Santiago Zamora we worked with the weaving cooperative Ixoki A’J Quiemo L’ (“Native Women Weavers” in the Kaqchikel language). In the beginning we worked with the community to create a video of who they are, what their town is about, and what they want to share about their culture and traditions. The video is a combination of footage shot by us, by them, as well as photos taken by the kids from a participatory photography workshop led by New School students.
On the business side we spent a lot of time on strategy and “fair wages”. In one exercise the women broke down their product costs to extract each piece’s hourly pay rate and then we contrasted this with the national minimum wage. This new understanding of labor costs coupled with their knowledge of the local artisanal goods market led to make some needed production and pricing adjustments.
We also conducted a design critique of the cooperative’s artisan goods. As homework, we asked Ixoki to come up with a product that would take them just an afternoon to make (as opposed to 300 hours for a table runner) – the following day, they came to the workshop with a prototype for a bracelet! There was a workshop as first step for new designs, so that they might distance themselves from using existing design patterns which are sold in local markets all over Guatemala.
As Ixoki A’J Quiemo L’ has a community tourist program, we decided to focus on that initiative: we experienced the program (as tourists) and provided them feedback and suggestions; we redesigned their branding materials adding a logo and english translation; our student team also mapped out a distribution strategy for Antigua – a nearby city with a more active tourist market.
Yesterday, we had a successful pricing workshop with the women of Santiago Zamora, after discussing fair wages and business strategies the previous day. We asked them to tell us the
Kids-with-Cameras Project in Santiago Zamora We have finally begun our “kids-with-cameras” project with the sons and daughters of “Las Estrellas de Santiago Zamora.” Our first day of teaching photography to
This video was edited by one of our students with footage shot mainly by our collaborators in Santiago Zamora. It was a storytelling warm-up about their community via the 5