A Day in the Kem Ajachel Dye Garden

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The Kem Ajachel Textile Cooperative, a group of over 70 women, is a Mayan textile haven. All woven textile items in the Global JUST Designs store are constructed by this group of lovely women. The Cooperative Headquarters is nestled in Panajachel Lago Atitlan, with a storefront, lovely casita, and newly renovated dye gardenJUSTA Collective and Global JUST Designs partnered with the indigenous women, including Director Flora (right) to share the entirety of the textile making process with groups of visitors that passed through their doors.

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Rather than explaining the dye making process, the women wanted an interactive demonstration that incorporated the gathering of plants for making dyes (tintas), boiling tintas from scratch, then dying and weaving the yarn into the striking textiles… all side by side with visitors.

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The only missing piece of this vision was a dye garden, which Kem Ajachel completed with JUSTA in 2014 and began demonstrations shortly after.

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With the help of permaculture experts, volunteers from The Yoga Forest, and the Kem Ajachel Women’s Cooperative, the garden was recently refurbished.

  • 20 different herbs and 10 dye plants added to the garden
  • 3 compost bins designed from recycled latrines
  • transplanted existing varieties for dye garden demonstrations
  • 50 signs painted to replace existing signs destroyed in the rainy season
  • 20 bags of freshly composted soil added to the garden