Ida, Global JUST Designs Intern, on Working With Mayan Textiles in Lake Atitlán

My name is Ida came to Lake Atitlán from Finland to do my final-year internship for fashion design school with JUSTA & Global Designs. It was a decision that I made very spontaneously after meeting some travelers with good vibes and stories of this place’s beauty.


While sure, Lake Atitlán is a paradise for backpackers, it is also so much more. I have been living here for a month now and everyday I learn a bit more Spanish, taste a fruit that I haven’t tasted before, and absorb more of the community and culture. Each morning when I wake up and look around, I can’t believe my luck that I ended up here, this far. I originally pursued a career in fashion due to my fascination with weaving meanings into wearable art.


When I got into first textile market in Antigua I got tears in my eyes from amazement by the beauty surrounding me. For me it’s pure magic that there is a place in the world where people spend months embroidering their identity and place in the world onto clothing that they wear on every day basis.


These weavings holds such an impactful message. I will try to honor this beauty in my work by being part of the design team for JUSTA’s new collection, which incorporates traditional and hand-woven textiles the each tell the story of their region. I will also travel around the lake to collect images and information about the artisans and their work in different villages to share with you! I’m so happy that I found JUSTA. It has been truly inspirational to see how business can be run sustainably, ethically, and transparently…while honoring indigenous works of art.

By Ida Heiska, Global JUST Designs Intern