Micaela from Guatemala
“I have faced diverse challenges in my life but I consider myself a strong person, able to face the challenges which have affected me. I always strive to move forward. I see each challenge as a new opportunity.”
Micaela, 28, lives with her elderly mother and three brothers in the Lakeside community of Santiago Atitlán in the highlands of Guatemala. The local Maya dialect is T’zutujil. Micaela is an accomplished weaver and embroiderer; she is renowned for her technique, detail, and fine stitching. She describes herself as creative, responsible, kind and respectful, above all a person willing to explore new opportunities.
When Micaela dropped out of school at the age of 12, because her family was unable to afford the cost of her uniform, books and supplies, she thought that the opportunity to learn was lost to her. But in Multicolores, she found a way to continue learning. Micaela regularly participates in workshops in design, drawing, color theory, and new product development. As a group leader she enjoys sharing this new knowledge. It is important to her that all the women in her group have equal knowledge.
Micaela was the first artist chosen to participate in Multicolores’ Internship Program, ArtWorks. During three months, she learned about quality control, the marketing and sales of artisan products, and shipping processes. She also became adept at typing, computing, taking and editing product photographs, and creating word documents.
Of her experience, Micaela reflects, “by participating in Multicolores’ Programs I have new ideas, new knowledge in all aspects of my life. I have overcome the fear of expressing my ideas and points of view in public.”
Since joining Multicolores in 2018, Micaela’s embroidered story cloths have been exhibited in galleries in the United States and Guatemala. Micaela could never have imagined how far her artwork would go. Micaela is a story teller. In her artwork she is drawn to explore the many legends and stories told in her community, saying, “each of these legends reflects a cultural reality and is a way for me to express my own perspective on the stories we grew up with. In every piece I like to experiment with stitching and composition to inspire the curiosity of the viewer, drawing your attention down to the smallest details.”
With income from embroidery, Micaela helps support her family by paying the household’s expenses. One of Micaela’s goals is to learn English, the other is to continuing growing and exploring as an embroidery artist. She hopes to always be innovative in her designs.