I have been holding on to a big story that I want to share with all of you. 🌙💜
When I embarked on this Hiptipico journey seven months ago, I actually came into this with very little expectations. I was just feeling a huge message from my heart that this was where I was meant to be and had to do anything to make it happen. And I did!
During my first few weeks on-the-ground in Guatemala a lot of people would ask me from which part of Guatemala I was from. And at that point, all I knew was that my dad was from Xela and that’s where we lived when I was growing up. Anytime I would ask my family about our roots and ancestry I would receive a similar response: “Somos de Alvarado”, we have Spanish blood. Not having any concrete answers, I decided to do some investigating on my own.
Alyssa gifted me with a 23 and me DNA test and took me on a special weekend escape to San Marcos la Laguna. We were with Karen (who you all know!) and our other good friend Andrea, who is a Guatemalan architect here on Lake Atitlán. We created space to reflect, bond and Andrea even led us through an intimate cacao ceremony. After this ceremony I took the DNA test. This was a beautiful bonding experience and I hold it close to my heart to this day. After that magical weekend, I shipped out my DNA kit.
Finally 2 months later on November 13, 2022 I received an email from 23 and me. My DNA results were in and I remember my heart racing, I felt as though I was finally going to discover the truth, about my bloodline and my ancestry. I made myself a hot cafe con leche, printed out my DNA results and sat in my favorite spot. My eyes filled with tears as I read the results. My mind filled with both questions and answers, it finally all made sense.
After discovering that I am 31% Maya Indigenous on my fathers side, I took some time to process it all. I reflected on my past and remembered how I felt growing up. I always had a deep sense that I didn't fully fit in and struggled throughout highschool and my career to truly find where I belonged.. At the same time, I always felt an inexplicable special bond to Guatemala. And I think many other chapinxs living abroad know exactly what it means to really yearn for a place.
Every time that I went back to visit my abuelita in Guatemala I felt an immediate connection, at peace and a bond. I felt it so strongly that I tattooed a Quetzal bird, 3 Volcanoes and a Luna eclipse on my back. This was all designed to represent my roots and my homeland. That way, I felt as though I always carried Guatemala with me and it was a part of me.
But now, there is no doubt in my mind as to why I have this strong connection to all of you here at Hiptipico, this deep bond I have is with the art and culture of the Indigenous communities because it literally flows through my veins.
Since reading the results, I have allowed myself the space and time to let this all sink in. But, today I am proud to officially call myself a Guatemalan-Canadian-Indigenous-Latina Artist and CEO of this amazing ethical fashion brand. I am so inspired and excited for what’s to come not only for me, but for our artisan partners as we continue this journey together. Thank you for being here with me and stay tuned for many new and exciting things to come!
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