Art from Guatemala: Hand Hooked Rugs, Textiles & Shawls, and Beaded Bracelets

by Laurie Ahner

I have visited Guatemala 10 times over a period of 20 years. It is one of my favorite countries, and I find myself returning as many times as possible. I have taken thousands of photos there, and I find it to be a photographer’s paradise. I have even published a book about this land: What Color is Joy? Guatemala. (*Can be ordered.) The textiles, arts and crafts that I buy there are treasures to be cherished forever. I happily share them with you!


HandHooked Rugs - Guatemala, Galerie Bonheur


These colorful hand hooked rugs are specially designed and created in a small village in Guatemala by Mayan women. There are currently more than 20 artists making the rugs, which are unique and one of a kind. To make the rugs, the ladies take old T-shirts and dye them into bright colors, which are then used in the original designs which each individual artisan develops and fabricates on her own. As a result, each rug has its own particular character and personality.

Textiles, Guatemala, Galerie Bonheur
Natural and organic textiles and art to wear created by Guatemalanvillagers on Lake Atitlan. These textiles…. shawls, scarves, ponchos, bags, and other accessories, are made exclusively by a coop of ladies who need the money to raise their families.
I visited this coop 6 years ago when it first got started, and I return every year. Their progress has been dynamic and amazing. Whenever I purchase their fine quality products, the ladies show me their genuine gratitude and tell me how important their success is to the health and welfare of their families. I buy from them because they excel at this particular work….. blackstrap weaving from natural cotton fibers dyed and woven into special textiles.

Beaded Bracelets, Guatemala, Galerie Bonheur
These lovely and unique beaded bracelets are created by these wonderful ladies in a small village on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. Each bracelet is hand made, with special stones and crystals. The lady artisans use the money they make from the bracelets to feed their children and send them to school.
We gave them some T-shirts from the USA, collected by my grandchildren at their school, for which the artisans were very grateful.