May 1, 2017
WHAT: Browse and buy hand-painted pottery
WHERE: San Antonio Palopó, a Mayan town on Guatemala’s Lake Atitlán
WHY: Making hand-painted pottery is an ancient tradition of Guatemala’s Kaqchikel people. In the municipality of San Antonio Palopó in the Sololá department, Kaqchikel artisans capture in their work the landscapes and history of their people. Expressing their Mayan identity and contributing to Guatemala’s creative diversity, they pass down their skills from generation to generation.
The pottery, while available for purchase locally, is distributed around the country and exported. Tourists and locals decorate their homes with Kaqchikel ceramics.
Visitors are welcome are welcome to tour the pottery studios, observing the process up close.
They can also try their hand at the art. At MayanKe, a fair trade art studio, visitors can make cups, tea sets, ornaments, jars and plates using the region’s traditional methods. Instructors in the one-day course tell participants the stories behind traditional designs.
QUOTE: “It is important to work in pottery because it is an activity that comes from antiquity, and it goes from generation to generation. Not everyone likes to work in this. This practice is being lost, but there are some young people who do like it, and they have the ability to paint and draw. They are happy to be here in pottery and to be able to get ahead in life.”
Marco Sicay, potter
DETAILS: San Antonio Palopó is home to various pottery studios. To take a pottery class, visit MayanKe at Calle del Lago, Barrio Chuacruz, San Antonio Palopó. For details, call 502-5515-5207 or email [email protected]