Ramona Lucia from Guatemala
“Although I grew up with many limitations, I did not limit myself and always looked for a way to get ahead.”
Ramona Lucia, 23, lives with her family in Chiyax, a small village, 45 minutes from the city of Totonicapán. The local Maya dialect is K’iche’. Ramona was taught to embroider by her mother, Cipriana, who is also a member of the Multicolores’ Embroidery group, which is supported by a WE grant.
Throughout her life Ramona has dared to do things without fear to make her dreams come true. One such dream was to finish High School. This meant taking a job, at 12 years old, so that she could pay for transportation, food and school supplies when it looked like her parents’ financial resources would prevent her from going to school. Juggling work and school often meant that she had to do her homework well into the night. Ramona describes herself as a person with a lot of creativity, positivity, and perseverance to achieve her goals.
Another goal took shape in 2022 when the embroidery group had the opportunity to visit the home of a private collector and view the embroidered works of Antonio Ramirez Sosof, now deceased. The works so inspired Ramona that she resigned from her job in a shoe factory and dedicated herself to her career as an embroidery artist. Impressed with the collection, she stated that “one day I want people to collect my work like they have collected Don Antonio’s.”
Ramona’s abundant enthusiasm and willingness to learn has not gone unnoticed. She is currently working with Multicolores, assisting the Creative Director in the production area, putting into practice many of the new skills she has gained: quality control, shipping and inventory management, which she learned during her ArtWorks internship with Multicolores in 2022. Ramona is also learning English. Of working with Ramona, the Creative Director shares, “it’s nice to see how Ramona processes information; one can see her eyes light up generating more ideas and getting ready for action. She is very observant and wants to replicate the good she sees in others.”
An important and recurring theme in Ramona’s work is loss of culture and lack of awareness of cultural stories. She forms part of a movement of artists who are narrating and illuminating this theme globally. As an artist, Ramona uses incongruous imagery in her artwork, combining images that would not exist in reality, in order to evoke an emotion or sentiment. This can be seen in the story cloth below entitled, El Baile del Venado (The Dance of the Deer).
As a member of Multicolores, Ramona is proud to work with a group of talented and creative women who share ideas, support each other, and find joy in collective work. She is proud to support herself and her family through her work. Over time, Ramona has improved her design skills, particularly her drawing skills, she has learned how to convey technical knowledge to other women in her group, and she has achieved many of her goals. Her current goal is to continue saving so that she can install a drainage system in her family’s home. She also wants to continue learning English and learn more about clothing design. Ramona likes a challenge, and she likes to challenge herself. She is ready to take on the world!
“The Dance of the Deer is one of our most celebrated traditions, a folkloric rain dance, to the tune of the maracas and marimba. At the center of the dance is a person dressed as a deer, wearing a painted mask and a special ceremonial cloak.” – Ramona