Friday, November 13, 2009

Graduation ceremony in Guatemala.

Yesterday, the sewing class held their graduation ceremony in Tierra Linda.
These women, most who do not speak Spanish and have never been to school, were so happy to have the chance to learn a skill. They have attended classes for the last 6 months, learning to operate a sewing machine. This is something that has traditionally been a male only skill. They are really keen to be able to start work at home, sewing for themselves, sewing for friends , to be able to have a small cottage industry where they will be able to take their goods to the market.

The women wear traditional aprons and many of them will be making these aprons for sale.
They also learnt the very complicated skill of doing machine embroidery on their cortes.

The women prepared a delicious lunch for us of grilled chicken, guacomle, salad and tortillas.
We brought the framed diplomas and the cake.

The framed diplomas mean a great deal to these women.
The speeches were mostly done in Kakchiquel and translated into Spanish for me and the two other guests, Ely who is our new secretary at Mayan Families and Susie who is here volunteering with us.
Both Ely and Susie had a wonderful experience coming to Tierra Linda.

After the speeches, the presentation and the diplomas....the serious business of eating cake was enjoyed! The children enjoyed this part of the ceremony the most!

The women will now wait till we hopefully, have some more machines donated and then they will be able to take a sewing machine home with them.

Any machines, scissors, fabric are really appreciated. The curtains for both pre-schools in Tierra Linda and San Jorge are made from donated fabric.

As part of the program, the women each make two patchwork quilts. These quilts are really well made. One of the quilts is theirs to keep, the other one is for sale through Mayan Families. People can purchase these quilts to take home as a gift or designate a quilt to be given to a family in need. The quilts are $20 US and the money is used to fund the sewing program.

The graduating class with myself, Gloria , Mayan Families manager, and Alberto , the Mayan Families sewing teacher.
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