Pop Atz’iaq, translated from the Mayan Quiché language, means the Mayan Life Story expressed in weaving. In their logo, you can see:
• the backstrap loom weaving
• the symbolic tree of the Mayan culture with its roots in the communities.
• the contour of the serpent, symbol of the universe with its four cosmic directions.
• at the base of the figure, the kernels of corn as the staple food of the Maya; the grain symbolizes the consciousness of the spirituality of the past, present and future.
Pop Atz’iaq and the Salt Spring Island Support Group
Pop Atz’iaq Cultural and Artesanal Association is a Mayan K’iche organization that formed as an association by a number of highland weavers in Guatemala in 1988. During a time of assassinations, arrests and torture, this group of artisans came together to create an alternative way of life for internally displaced families. They began with the twin goals of providing work for their weavers and preserving the culture. In the last 20 years, they have added programs in Reforestation, Women’s Advancement, and Education (Scholarships). Pop Atz’iaq is governed by an elected assembly and board of directors. The 70 members and their families are almost all weavers.
|Pop Atz’iaq carries out their programs in several Mayan K’iche villages in the highland region of Guatemala.|
Through ICO, a group of Salt Spring Islanders came together to support Pop Atz’iaq in their education and women’s programs. More information on these programs is listed below.
The Pop Atz'iaq Education Program is now being managed by PROGRESA, The Guatemalan Friends Scholarship and Loan Program, (www.guatemalafriends.org). All donations made to the Pop Atz'iaq Education Program will be sent to PROGRESA, where the staff has kindly offered to take care of Pop Atz;iaq's remaining students, following the closure of the Pop Atz'iaq program due to administrative difficulties. PROGRESA has almost 25 years of scholarship management, which guarantees that our students will have the finest of treatment and guidance.