An immersion tour to San Antonio Palopó starts with a pickup truck ride up the mountain overlooking Lake Attilan. Leaving Panajachel in the morning, the trip to visit Maria and her weaving cooperative is just about 20 minutes away. You choose if you want private transportation, or to join the locals in the public crowded car! Either way, enjoy the beautiful view, lush scenery and wind in your hair as you begin your journey.
Once in San Antonio Palopó, take a quick tour around the village and explore its beautiful mountainous layout. The word Palopó is a Maya Kaqchikel term used to describe "palo" a tree or branch and joined together with "poj" means Fig Tree. The village is situated on a mountainside filled with rich flora making for spectacular views.
Step right into Maria's home workshop, where she welcomes you with open arms. Excited to teach you the historical and cultural significance of her work, Maria and the other female artisans happily show off their designs. From scarves to table runners, enjoy demonstrations of traditional pedal-loom and backstop weaving. Be interactive! Jump in and see for yourself how labor intensive and intricate the foot-loom method is. This artisanal weaving method uses the artisan's feet to alternately lift and lower the thread. These looms are entirely foot powered and use no electricity.
The traditional hair wrap of San Antonio is the tocoyal - which is a long, thin woven cinta, or ribbon. She weaves the gorgeous hair wraps by hand using a traditional pedal loom and then adds embellishment like sparkly garland tassels or hand-beaded details. When we visit, María she loves to share this fun piece of her culture with us and every time we’re impressed with how effortlessly she wraps up the tocoyal and how gorgeous it looks on everyone.
Already in Guatemala or planning a visit? We offer authentic opportunities to visit our artisans partners like Maria. Contact us for an unforgettable immersion tour to the village of your choice. We offer weaving lessons, natural dye seminars, home-stays and artisan workshops around Lake Atitlan. You will have the incredible opportunity to join the Hiptipico team to visit some of our beloved artisans and get a firsthand glimpse at not only the work that Hiptipico does, but also the beautiful techniques of Maya weavers.
Learn more about our ASB program and daily immersion tours in Guatemala!
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