Backstrap Loom Weaver Amelia Vásquez
At 24, Amelia Vasquez is the one of the youngest members of the Quetzalli Cooperative. She is also one of the best-selling MayaWeaving Partners; her cotton scarves sell quickly.
Amelia didn't begin weaving until she was 17. As an early teen she was a bit of a rebel; among other traviesas she refused to learn to weave at her mother's side. Once she finished high school and began her student teaching; however, she quickly realized two things: teaching was definitely not her thing and she actually enjoys weaving.
Most days Amelia is at the Coop helping customers, arranging the weavings, opening, closing and cleaning up. Although a full-time volunteer at the store, Amelia didn't join the Coop until recently.
At Cristina's urging she officially joined the coop as a weaver where you can find her lovely cotton scarves and ponchos. And some days you might even catch her there weaving on her backstrap loom.
Amelia prefers working on scarves without jaspe because this allows her to experiment with different types of weaves and color combinations. The series of gemstone scarves she and her mother Natalia Bizarro co-created are the result of Amelia's keen eye for design. The majority of the cotton scarves are pure Amelia.
There's something about Amelia that is hard to describe, besides her dry humor and gregariousness. She's a mix of yearning and wistfulness. She has a yearning to explore the larger world, travel to different countries, and study at the university. At the same time, without money, she doesn't know how she will realize her dreams and break out of the pattern she's in now. Wistful. This year I encountered a Quaker program that provides scholarships to Guatemalan's in financial need and that focus on helping Maya Women. I passed the information on to Amelia and said I'd help her in anyway I could. Fingers crossed.
I truly value Amelia's friendship and am pleased that she's become a MayaWeavings Partner. Here's to helping her realize her dreams.