Exactly a year ago, the women of El Triunfo presented some stunning basket samples to Mayan Hands field workers Nancy and Mayra. The Josefina and Dahlia Baskets were immediately added to our collection and. as we'd hoped, they joined the ranks of our most popular baskets.
The El Triunfo coop was a small group by our standards - four women in all. They learned the art of pine needle basket making as members of another Mayan Hands coop. But they lived too far away from the rest of the women and were spending too much time traveling. After the the small river they needed to cross swelled and became impassable, they decided it was time to start their own coop within their community.
A coop's inaugural year is a year of firsts... first meetings, first orders, first deliveries. Members must invest significant time learning how a coop works, accounting, quality control. And Mayan Hands similarly invests resources in the form of staff time, leadership development, and business skill training,
"El Triunfo" means "the triumph" and triumph they did. During the last year, the group has grown to 16 members. When Mayan Hands director in Guatemala, Julio Cardona, visited them this week, they told him they were grateful for the work - and that they wanted more!
Fortunately, the demand for their beautiful and fragrant pine needle baskets continues to grow, so we are looking forward to collaborating on new designs and to bringing their creations to new markets.