Our Economic Development programs focus on supporting families to achieve a good quality of life by providing them with the opportunity to learn new skills or develop their existing abilities to generate a sustainable source of income.

Artisan Program

Through our Artisan Program, we work with 190 artisans and their families to help them access markets and earn a fair price for their handmade products. We offer our products wholesale, or you can support our artisans directly by purchasing through our Etsy store online, or visiting our showroom in Panajachel! For wholesale inquiries, please reach out to us at artisan@mayanfamilies.org.

Trade Schools

Our Trade Schools teach technical skills to adults and teenagers who are interested in learning a vocation and improving their economic future.  Through intensive courses, we help our students develop and strengthen their skills. Upon graduation, students are provided with access to a tool kit that enables them to open the door to new economic opportunities. Please reach out to us at tradeschool@mayanfamilies.org.

Support Our Artisans

Our Artisan Program helps connect talented indigenous artisans with new markets, to help them earn fair wages for their work whilst safeguarding traditional techniques and evolving new ones.

Our artisans often work with their families or in women’s collectives, specializing in beadwork, weaving, sewing, and embroidery. The products made by our talented artisan partners are all available for sale through our Etsy shop!

We also take wholesale orders and specialize in working with buyers to develop customized products, check out our Artisan Program Catalog. For wholesale inquiries, please email us at artisan@mayanfamilies.org.

Visit our Etsy Shop!

Support our Trade Schools

Our Carpentry Shop functions for the generation of funds to run our Trade School Program. Proceeds from all purchases go directly to support our students in training and education in the vocation of their choice. The beautiful woodworking work of our talented carpenters and instructors is available for sale through our Novica Shop or in our showroom in Panajachel.

We also take wholesale orders and custom orders. For more information, email us at tradeschool@mayanfamilies.org. Check out our Carpentry Catalog.




Artisan groups we partner with


Santiago Atitlán

We partner with a very talented group of women artisans in the scenic village of ChukuMuk in Santiago Atitlán. This group specializes in making hand-beaded products, primarily keychains. Their skills in handicrafts have enabled them to make a living and to provide for their families. 

Peña Blanca

Our partners in Peña Blanca are helping us to preserve the ancestral skill of backstrap loom weaving. Using this technique, women can weave anything from table runners to napkins. The detailed work required to make a single piece is laborious, and projects can take months in the making.

San Jorge La Laguna

Our artisan partners from San Jorge are skilled in their ability to use a beading loom from a piece of wood and two hair-combs to create larger beaded items. By employing a technique similar to backstrap weaving, these scaled-down looms are employed to create pieces of intricate beadwork that are intricate such as purses and bracelets.

San Antonio Palopó

San Antonio is yet another scenically set community on the Lake, one from which we source textiles crafted on a foot loom, as well as macrame bracelets. Our women artisans of San Antonio are talented craft-artists with few resources and limited access to markets, therefore we work to make sure that communities like this are well compensated for their work.


We partner with a group of very talented weavers from Nahualá, whose skill sets include foot-pedal weaving and backstrap weaving. These talented women have mastered the ability to create intricate combinations of products that are traditional and trendy. The products made by these artisans are scarves, pillows, and table cloths.


We are currently working with artisans groups in the communities of El Barranco, Tierra Linda, Patanic, and Sololá. These talented artisans have skill sets that include backstrap weaving, free-hand beading, and loom beading. A few of our signature products from these communities are textiles and beaded lanyards.

Artisan and Trade Schools

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