Did you know that ever since the Spanish conquest more than 500 years ago the transmission of Mayan culture has been largely in the hands of women? When the Spanish burnt the sacred books of the Maya, the women continued incorporating secretly into their cloth the symbols that recreated the Mayan sacred world view. Even today, there are hidden worlds portrayed in many of the modern huipiles.
For all these centuries the women remained in their villages while the men were and still are pressured to leave, steeped in their culture, nurturing the new generations into their native Mayan languages and traditions.
Mayan women have defended staunchly the Mayan vision of the world, regardless of the oppression and discrimination they suffer as a consequence in their encounters with non-indigenous Guatemalans. They hope their children will live in a more tolerant, less oppressive world. They hope that educating their daughters will make a difference.
The new generation of girls has a big task ahead. They are going to school, learning Spanish and becoming professionals. They are becoming aware of the history of their people, and their own place in it, and their responsibility to both honor Mayan culture and bring it to bear on modern Guatemalan society. Mayan Hands scholarship recipients dream of contributing to the development of their communities in the context of their culture. And, with their education in hand, they will command respect from the world around them.
Your donation will help Mayan mothers and daughters fulfill their potential and move forward together to create a more inclusive world.