"I love what I do. I especially like to embroider and create new designs. These techniques let me share the icons of our culture in wool and cotton."
Maria Lopez is a textile artisan from a small town in the mountains of Chiapas. There, the weaving tradition dates back to pre-Hispanic times when Maya women worked their artistry on backstrap looms.
"I love what I do," she says. "I especially like to embroider and create new designs. These techniques let me share the icons of our culture in wool and cotton. Natural is an endless source of inspiration for all of us in my village.
"My mother taught me this art. I, in turn, have taught my daughters, my sons' wives, my granddaughters and even my neighbors. I tell them that to get to where I am, they need to learn very well. They also need to recognize and value what they do. I don't want our textile traditions to be lost, not ever.
"I think the hardest moment in my whole life was when my son died. He was 28 and was on his way to the US but had an accident. It's taken me a very long time to get over this. But I've found happiness when I'm with my grandchildren and I watch them play.
"I plan to continue weaving and working in the fields, as always. Right now, I work on my own as part of a team of artisans, and we all do a bit of everything. We make a great team. We all want to support our community and we all work toward preserving our textile tradition. If people ask us to teach them, we will."