More Adventures at Lake Atitlán

On Saturday we crossed lake Atitlán to San Juan where we visited the local church, coffee plantation, and textile co-op. The front of the original church has been kept preserved as the entrance while behind a new church is under construction.

San Juan church MW

The construction of the new church is solely dependent on donations and volunteers who are not paid for their work. It was the first example of how well their interdependent community is able to work together.
San Juan church build MW
(Men from the Village of San Juan donate their labor to build a new church that will replace the former structure built in the 1500’s. The facade, above, will remain. Photos by Maria Weber.)
Next we visited “La Voz” coffee plantation co-op where men and women work hard to keep their shade grown coffee organic and plentiful. The plantation land is not owned by the company, instead each employ owns a parcel of land where they work to maintain, grow, and harvest a varies of trees including coffee, avocado, and banana. This is to create about 70% of shade for the coffee beans (to taste sweet like chocolate) and in case there is a bad harvest they are able to sell other produce in the market.
(Pictures Coming Soon)
After touring the coffee plantation we visited a textile co-op. This is the only group of women who do not buy their string to make textiles. Instead they hand pick cotton, beat it down, and use a long spindle to pull the cotton into string. To die the string they use various plants, vegetables, fruits, and flowers that are hand picked and pressed in a dish. The string soaks for 4 hours and then is soaked in tree sap so that color never washed out even in a machine washer. The string is either sold in large spun balls or woven into textiles.
(Pictures Coming Soon)
— Caitlyn Colley

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