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.

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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.

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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.

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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