Ixoq sin Chiya : Beading Collective
Juana Navichoc is 33 and has two children, Cindy (6) and Johny (9). Juana was born in San Pedro La Laguna but now lives in the neighboring San Juan La Laguna with her children, husband, and three younger sisters. Juana is very organized and always takes interest in learning new things. She says she enjoys being part of the Collective to show her children the importance of work.
.Isabel Gonzalez Tuch is 43 and has been beading for most of her life. She lives in the countryside, about a twenty minute walk to the center of San Pedro. She is the single mother of an eleven year old son, Diego. After her son was born, her husband left her and only sends money every six months to a year. Isabel is an honest, hard worker and depends on JUSTA as her only source of income for her son and mother she lives with.
Lina is 33 and lives in the center of San Pedro La Laguna in a small house with her 14 year old daughter, 20 year old brother, and 65 year old mother. Previously, Lina worked late nights at a restaurant and would have to walk home through unsafe streets at night. Now Lina is proud she can solely support her family through her income with JUSTA.
Matea Churenel Pichilla is 41 and lives with her family in the center of San Pedro La Laguna. She has been beading since the age of 16 and learned the art form from her relatives that passed the skill down. Matea’s income from her work with JUSTA goes to support her elderly mother, two sisters, and young niece and nephew whom all live together in their home.
Nicolasa Natareno Soza is 42 and has three children, two daughters of 24 and 22 and one 11 year old son who all still live in their home. She was born in a nearby village, but moved to San Pedro when she was sent to be married at age 14. Nicolasa only completed the second grade, but her humor and bright spirit has helped her to get over many hardships in her life.
Rosa Depaz is 26, has four sons of the ages 4, 7, 10, and three months. Though Rosa’s husband also works as a construction worker, their combined incomes are needed to raise their four boys. As a very young mother, Rosa did not have the chance to pursue an education or profession. She is just now learning to read and write and is enjoying the opportunity to learn and work through beading. Rosa grew up speaking her indigenous Tz’utujil language and has improved her Spanish language skills through her work with the collective.