Today's Woman

Mayan Hands founder Brenda Rosenbaum with Elaine Houston

Recently, Elaine Houston from WNYT, Albany's local NBC affiliate, visited our warehouse to learn more about Mayan Hands for her Today's Woman segment. Below you'll find a partial transcript of her interview with Mayan Hands founder Brenda Rosenbaum. Click on the image above to view the piece and take a peak at the warehouse and some of our amazing artisan partners.

Brenda Rosenbaum says Mayan women living in Guatemala are underdogs, abused, poor, and oppressed. She's not repeating something she's read – she's talking about something she knows.

“I grew up in Guatemala and was fascinated by looking at these women and I said, ‘Who are these women?" Rosenbaum said.

She would eventually come to the Capital Region and as an anthropologist write about the women. But knew she needed to do more.

What she wanted was to expose those outside of Guatemala to the beautiful items that the women make from runners, to scarves to baskets. And then help sell the items for a fair price which in turn changes the lives of the women and their families.

“Their kids are eating and all the kids go to school,” Rosenbaum said.

Years ago, Rosenbaum started a website called Mayan Hands to sell the items online. There are some non-traditional items made by the women.

All are designed to make a difference in the lives of the women, help others learn more about their culture, and show that despite their challenges they remain courageous.

“I admire their artistry, their courage, showing who they were despite the fact they were discriminated,” Rosenbaum said.

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