Why GuaTela

Despite the increasing global demand for ethnic weaves, the indigenous Guatemalan women who produce authentic forms of this fashion continue to be trapped in a cycle of poverty, malnutrition and lack of access to the global market. 

Problems GuaTela is Fighting Against

  • Chronic Poverty - Guatemala has one of the highest inequality rates in the Central American region with some of the worst poverty, malnutrition and maternal-child mortality. Poverty is especially concentrated among the indigenous Mayan people.
  • Lack of sustainable livelihoods for women - The most severely affected have been Mayan women who despite being skilled craftspeople do not have access to education or markets.
  • Lack of access to global market - Informal textile cooperatives exist, but few have been able to break into the U.S. market and provide weavers equity and a sense of ownership of their craft.

What is GuaTela


GuaTela is a social enterprise producing a unique range of personal accessories from Mayan weaves. GuaTela's core mission is empowering indigenous women artisans in Guatemala. By linking skillful weavers directly to conscientious shoppers like you, GuaTela ensures they are paid a fair share, while you get a quality fashion product.  

For the artisan

The heart of our mission is to empower indigenous women artisans by providing them with access to

  • Fair Trade - GuaTela engages artisans to produce top-quality handwoven products for which they are provided a fair price
  • Capacity Building – GuaTela invests in skill development trainings of women weavers; 
  • Conscientious Consumer – GuaTela plays the role of an ethical middleman providing this skillful artisan access to the conscientious global shopper;
  • Equity in the Company - When profits are earned from sales, GuaTela provides them an opportunity to become shareholders of the company and thus gain a greater share of the value of what they produce.   

For the shopper

GuaTela is THE opportunity to own a unique fashion accessory, support Mayan artisans and celebrate one of the world’s most distinct heritage. Each hand-woven product comes with a unique QR code connecting the customer to the artisan’s profile as well as the origin and relevance of the weave, as per Mayan tradition