Strengthening Communities


Ara Collective believes that every person deserves the opportunity to thrive. The vicious cycle of poverty strips away that freedom and dignity, leaving marginalized communities silenced. We choose to be an active part of breaking that cycle by collaborating with talented artisans, combining their traditional techniques with modern design, and providing access to the global marketplace through our online shop. (Coming this June!)

One of the groups we’ve partnered with is Maya Traditions, based in the highlands of Guatemala around Lake Atitlan. We’ve gotten to know them a lot over the last couple months here and let me tell you – they are awesome. Maya Traditions has been unifying skilled indigenous women artisans in the villages around the lake for the last 25 years. United and organized cooperatives are able to work with more designers, handle larger orders and, thus, generate economic stability for their families.

Maya Traditions also provides educational courses for artisans, academic scholarships for their children and access to health care. Made up of eight cooperatives, Maya Traditions is all about preserving traditional Mayan weaving techniques and way of life as they work together to improve their quality of life. We resonate with this value and their approach and have loved working with them for Collection One.

we start with skilled indigenous women artisans, weave in education-based tools, trainings, and grassroots social programs to create handmade products that strengthen communities. | maya traditions

We know we’re only a small part of providing more opportunities for women in Lake Atitlan through our collaborations. True change requires many hands. The cooperatives of Maya Traditions want to expand their weaving work, international markets and sales partnerships so, just this month, their administrative stay put together a crowd sourcing campaign. Check out their two-minute video (don’t miss my cameo at the end!) and head over to The Campaign(<iframe%20src="" width="222px" height="445px"frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe>) to learn more and snag some beautiful handwoven accessories when you donate.