“It is a pleasure to be able to introduce myself; my name is Angelina Roquel. I am from Sololá and I am 35 years old. I make beaded accessories and weave baskets. I started in the world of crafts at the age of 8. I learned from a lady near my house who worked with beads. It was an art that I fell in love with from the beginning--the ability to combine colors, and with them make endless patterns for a single product. However, with her I only learned the basics. With time, I developed my skills as an artisan and everything flowed. My imagination flew and my hands were in charge of being able to make wonderful pieces that charged life with so much color, shapes and textures.
“My mother, being a single mother, struggled to stay home with my brother, but we never lacked for anything. As the years passed, my mother made the decision to get married. That was when a very difficult part of my life began, as I suffered physical and verbal abuse from my stepfather. It was a stage that I had a hard time overcoming, but thanks to my work and my effort, I managed to get ahead. I never gave up, and that was what gave me the necessary strength to fight and achieve something for myself.
“Currently I continue to love my work, because it has filled me with many satisfactions and achievements. I have been able to teach my sister and my neighbors a little. I would like one day to be able to give them the opportunity to also work in this art, and together we can continue to shape the future that we want for our children.
“I have three beautiful children, one 12 years old, another 8 and the youngest 5 years old. They are my reason for getting up every morning to work. We have a small house that I dream of being able to finish paying for. I long to see my children graduating from university; that they can be good men and women; and that they have opportunities that I could not have. But above all that they be happy and feel proud of their land, and also that they can learn a little from it and can preserve it as a treasure. For me it is worth a lot; it has been the art that has given me what I have today and hope to have.
“Today I am grateful for opportunities like this, to be part of a family of artisans. We feel very supported and confident that our products will be in the hands of families who value handmade products.”