Wisdom rooted in Customs

In the state of Chiapas, in Mexico, deep into the mountains you will find the community of Chamula, known by its rooted customs.  Ancestral knowledge is passed on from generation to generation by the women in the community. 

Juana Patishtan is 63 years old. She is mother of eight, wife, grandmother of eighteen, and leader of her group of artisans. She opened her home, her traditions and her cooking to us when we visited her to talk about Red Niu Matat, a Mexican NGO supporting artisans.

“I am thankful for the opportunity that this community has given me to bring in my camera and capture their customs, their homes (that are the jungle itself) and moments like this where peace and wisdom come through that look and those hands,” says Erick, the photographer who captured Juana’s images.

The thread that Juana is spinning will be used to sew belts for an international client that has purchased over three thousand pieces at a fair price. After receiving training in accounting, production, cut and confection, as well as raw materials inventory from Red Niu Matat – which was supported by C&A Foundation’s Inspiring Women Campaign – Juana and her fellow generated new revenues to reinvest in their businesses and together, they produced the back pocket of a women’s denim shorts collection sold in C&A stores in Mexico during the International Women’s Day in 2017. This collection raised their incomes 152% that month and brought genuine art craft into mainstream fashion.

Chiapas, Mexico