None of the women had ever been to the Mayan ruins of Iximché and even though we were pushing it on time, they voted to go, saying their husbands would never do it.
What a delight. They pored over every piece in that tiny museum as if it were a whole college course. I came to them all staring at two skulls and when I asked if one was their uncle, they laughed a lot. I know what impacted me most seeing the skulls there was that for the first time I understand that some of the women we know have the same jaw structure as those early Kaqchikels.
Eventually we got out to the park and they were as entranced as we all are there. They found seed pods that were important in Chica's dyeing and collected as many as they could carry. They identified trees they barely know, loved the wind in the surrounding tree tops, looked down the seemingly bottomless ravine behind the site.
I finally had to drag them away if they were going to make the last bus home. They said they had never been to Museo Ixchel and I promised that if they came to the city I would bring them to it. They would like that.
They say that they are going to go home and start experimenting, try other colors, plants, yarns, weave some up. The key thing is that they were getting this information from other indigenous women, not us. That gives it a credibility that we will never have.
It feels like one of the most successful things I have ever done. I can hardly wait to see what happens next. I think something actually will.
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