Maguay, (jute) production in Chiquimula gets a big boost with Maya Pedal machines

Maguay, (jute) production in Chiquimula gets a big boost with Maya Pedal machines

Maya pedal was asked by FAO, Food and Agriculture Organization to produce three machines related to jute production from Maguay variety of Agave. Veronica Buch and I took a long road trip to the state of Chiquimula near the Honduran border just a few miles from the famous Maya site of Copan. The scenery was fantastic. Miles of rich river bottom land with a variety of fruit. Then up into high mountain ranges, and down, and so on. We left at 4am drove 11 hours that day, got lost in the mountains, and returned home at 10:30 p.m. Wouldn’t miss a moment of it. Palm frauns for roofing tied and layed out to dry.

Aribela demonstrates the old way of separating fibers against a plank. She had never ridden a bike and resisted when the prototypical machine was first delivered. She now reports she does in one hour what was a five hour task.

The fibers are colored with plant based dyes. The spinning wheel does, well, what a spinning wheel always has done, spins while the operators twist the fibers into cord.

In Comotan there is an indigenous peoples store. Maybe they have few customers; the clerk didn’t know the pricing of her products. Veronica shows a mochila toy where a little girl can carry her babydoll in a backpack. Girls have their own babies at a startling young age.

Nobody could recall if the Maya steil in town square is real or a duplicate.

Take time to see the movies below if you wish to see fibers made into cord by hand. And bike.

The dashboard shot becomes a movie of an easter procession. I like the modern dashboard contrast with ages old parade and song, but am uncomfortable with the intrusion. But they didn’t seem bothered at all by the other vehicle traffic. The parades were in three different villages on the only level place, the road.

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