Santa Catarina Palopó Huipil

Tax included.
Type: Artwork

Red is the color of traditional clothing for the town of Santa Catarina Palopó to represent sunsets on the shores of Lake Atitlán. Embroidery depicts native flowers, animals, and the amate tree—a species native to Guatemala with smooth, paper-like bark, a wide expanse of branches, and massive roots. In many communities, huge trees were often the central point of the park or marketplace, with meetings held under them to provide shade for everyone. In higher, more temperate regions it was the amate tree that provided this service. It’s from this tree that Santa Catarina Palopó gets its name. (Palopó comes from the indigenous Kaqchikel language, meaning “tree of amates”; Santa Catarina comes from the patron saint, Catalina de Alejandría.)

Located in the department of Sololá, Santa Catarina Palopó is just three miles from the popular tourist destination, Panajachel. Shops on the main street sell traditional clothing to this day, but as a small town with larger towns nearby, the market day in Santa Catarina Palopó is almost non-existent.

*Please note: this is a pre-order. Santa Catarina Palopó Huipil will be delivered in 2 months after confirming your order. 

Handmade in Santa Catarina Palopó, Sololá by Martha Carmen.

Measurements: 19" W x 16" H.

Material: 100% cotton.

ENGLISH: Martha Carmen grew up in a family of 12 children in Santa Catarina Palopó. Due to limited finances, she only completed two primary grades at age 16 (education in Guatemala is not free). Now a wife and mother of four, Martha Carmen started a small handicraft business, and her income has made it possible for two of her children to finish high school. Through Friendship Bridge, Martha Carmen has learned that when her business struggles, she can evaluate other areas of opportunity to make it successful again: “We have been told about innovation in many of our educational training sessions so I am currently using my creativity to develop new designs!” She feels more empowered to be an example for her children.

ESPAÑOL: Martha Carmen creció en una familia de 12 hijos en Santa Catarina Palopó. Debido a sus escasos recursos económicos, sólo terminó dos cursos de primaria a los 16
años (la educación en Guatemala no es gratuita). Ahora, esposa y madre de cuatro hijos, Martha Carmen puso en marcha un pequeño negocio de artesanía, y sus ingresos han hecho posible que dos de sus hijos terminen la secundaria. A través de Puente de Amistad, Martha Carmen ha aprendido que cuando su negocio tiene problemas, puede evaluar otras áreas de oportunidad para que vuelva a tener éxito: “Nos han hablado de innovación en muchas de nuestras sesiones de formación, así que actualmente estoy utilizando mi creatividad para desarrollar nuevos diseños”. Se siente más capacitada para ser un ejemplo para sus hijos.


Handmade by Friendship Bridge

We provide skills, learning experiences, education, and technical assistance that will empower artisan entrepreneurs of Friendship Bridge to reach their potential to sell independently in new local, national, and international markets.

Meet our Artisans

Will you donate to support our artisans?

When you donate by July 31, your donation will be matched by a generous $3k distribution from the Marilyn Lone Endowment for Artisans.