All posts filed under: Jim West Craft Tours

Images of Guatemala – No 2.

  Images of Guatemala. I’ve met this lady on a previous trip, she features in the Destination Craft Show on PBS. She sits in the square near the church and for a small fee ill demonstrate how to wrap the head gear. The red hand woven strip is about 10 feet long and the colored part on the end sits on the outside of the weave. It’s fascinating to watch her do it. I saw a number of older women with this head attire, but mostly they just wore a cloth or ribbon covering.     The cemetery in Chichicastenango. Away from the town center of Chichicastenango, Guatemala, on a hill that is rarely touched by tourists, one of the most colorful cemeteries in the world is hidden in plain sight. Steeped in Mayan tradition, the vibrant rainbow of pigments celebrates the afterlife, and can symbolize different family roles, like a color-coded clue to the puzzle of the dead. Featuring rows upon rows of painted crosses and tall mausoleums, the Chichicastenango Cemetery is a perfect …

The colors of Antigua Guatemala.

Down cobblestone streets full of color and noise. The temperature is in the high 70’s and the air is clean. The streets are full of people, I’m sad to see so many children working on the street selling things. My Pollyanna persona hopes that they go to school later or earlier in the day.  Many women still wear traditional dress, and the color combination is astounding. I learn so much about color from just observing. There is often music in the air and the smell of coffee emanating from the little boutique  shops is tantalizing. That said I’m not diminishing the fact that the wages are very low here and for many people life is hard. I hope you don’t mind my perspective of what I see.         Just walking, fountains and feathers. The beautiful Chicken buses. The local market. Huipils.   A huge warehouse full of surprises. I visit it every day to see what new goodies have arrived from the countryside.       And then there are the churches.

Walking in Antigua today. – a visual feast.

Finally winding down now that we are here in Antigua Guatemala and my group is just wonderful. That said, our feet pounded the cobblestones over 17,000 times today. I decided that we would eat at a different restaurant each morning for breakfast and our Guide Carlos took us to an amazing restaurant. I didn’t get the name of it, but I will post it later and I highly recommend it. I tried a drink called Arroz en Leche, basically it’s thin rice pudding…. Oh, so delicious and best of all, it’s just a dollar. Our Itinerary was to walk in the town this morning. I was cool and mild, the sun peeked through the clouds and sent delightful colors streaming down the cobblestone streets.  The volcano is spewing lava and steam creating clouds of mist. (but I’m told its safe) I love the walls of this city, so my first photographic genre was to capture the texture and color. This is my favorite wall. How many colors. One wonders just how old the doors are? …

Mixed emotions, sadness and sheer joy. A textile journey.

We began the tour with a visit to the historic India gate. Whilst photographing the landmark itself, we noticed 50 or more women working in the gardens close by. They carried long hand-made brooms and their brightly colored clothing was obscured at times by a small cloud of dust as they swept the ground. Some ladies were crouched pulling weeds. The temperature and the humidity was in the 90’s, I just can’t imagine how hard that is.

Fabric to make you heart skip a beat – sharing how I’m going to use it.

Yesterday, with a roll of quilts under my arm and a package of teaching supplies I was waiting for my driver in the lobby. Suddenly the quilts were whisked out of my arms and onto the counter of the porter…. In alarm I kept an eye on them as they began to wrap my quilts very neatly in Newspaper!!!!!! Ohhhh. They then presented the parcel with a small handle tie and and expression of complete happiness. “Please don’t rub the newsprint off on my precious quilts “I thought, and the end of the story was that they were just fine. I gave a small class to some friends here in Delhi and we had a wonderful day talking, eating, listening and sharing ideas on quilting as they completed a small project.