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Weave A Dream Programs

Ixoqui Ajkeemaa

Ixoqui Ajkeemaa' is Tzutujil phrase meaning simply "women weavers." Headed by Miriam Ujpan Navichoc, Asociacion Ixoqui Ajkeemaa is a group of women who use their ability to weave to help support the household income, especially to subsidize the costs of schooling for their children. Weaving is a very important part of Mayan culture and a Mayan woman's identity, so weaving cooperatives such as this also help to preserve Mayan cultural traditions. While Ixoqui Ajkeemaa runs their own store front in San Juan, Weave A Dream sells their products online at the Online store and also to vendors in New York City.

Read more about Ixoqui Ajkeemaa in their own words (in Spanish and below translated into English)

Scholarship Program

Since the women of Ixoqui Ajkeemaa have express that education for their children is a one of their highest priorities, Weave A Dream also sponsers a partial scholarship program for the children of the women in the cooperative. While we do not currently have the funds to provide full scholarships to all the children, partial scholarships can allow children to both go the better schools and ease the burden of education for the family. Scholars are from elementary to college age.

To qualify for a scholarship, participants must attend a variety of workshops designed by the women of Ixoqui Ajkeemaa'. These workshops focus on preserving Mayan cultural traditions and fostering pride in the community. Since Mayan traditional have been suppressed for centuries, with great intensification during the Guatemalan Civil War, their preservation is extremely important. Activities include a lake clean-up day around Lago Atitlan, creating a community garden, and learning a traditional Mayan dance.

Winter Break Cultural Exchange Trip

For the last two years, Weave A Dream has conducted a Winter Break Cultural Exchange trip in San Juan La Laguna, a small Guatemalan town of Tzutujil Mayas around the Lago Atitlan area.During these trips, Columbia University Undergraduates get a chance to meet the women of Ixoqui Ajkeemaa',the weaving cooperative that Weave A Dream works with, and their children, who recieve partial scholarships to help subsidize the cost of schooling.

Students also participate in a variety of cultural programs with the residents of San Juan. All activities are planned jointly by Weave A Dream coordinators and Miriam Navichoc Ujpan, the president of Ixoqui Ajkeemaa.' Trip actiities are designed both to give Weave A Dream scholars a chance to show their hard work and help undergraduates better understand Mayan culture.

To download an application and information for this year's trip, click here.

To learn more about last year's trip, click here

To read interviews from the residents of San Juan about their view on the Guatemala Civil War, Indigenous Rights, and Mayan identity, click here.

Future Plans

In the future, Weave A Dream plans to promote greate activism and awareness of Indigenous Rights, espeically on Barnard and Columbia campus. We also plan on partnering with more cooperatives and expanding to more store, both inside and out of the New York City area. If you would like to help with any of our programs, or have any comments, complaints, or suggestions, please e-mail us at weaveadream@gmail.com

Application for the 2009-2010 Winter Break Cultural Exchange Trip are up now! Download a copy 2010 Trip Application

Want more information about this year's trip? Come to an information session this week on Friday, October 29th at 1pm in the lower level 2 of the Diana.

Weave A Dream is proud to be working with La ComUnidad, an organization the supports women's jewelry cooperatives. Look for their products in the store section soon!

Want to learn more about Guatemalan culture and San Juan La Laguna? Try these links:

Extensive report on the Guatemalan Civil War: Guatemalan Truth and Reconciliation Report

Website by a native of San Juan on Tzutujil Culture: La Casa De La Mente

An extensive website on the Popol Vuh, a classical Mayan religious text, with translation in K'iche', English and Spanish. Popol Vuh

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