Alma Guatemalan was created from love of travel, Mayan culture and craftsmanship. Our name, Alma, means "soul" in Spanish. With all of our products, we provide to you the truest essence and soul of Guatemala. Upon visiting Guatemala it is easily noticeable the abundance of color and creativity deeply rooted into the country's culture. Guatemalan artisans work hard at their craft using quality, natural materials.
Founders Tom, Chris and Chad have spent a decade traveling to Guatemala from the United States. With each of their entrepreneurial spirits and years experience in retail they created Alma Guatemalan. In an effort to showcase their crafts and support fair trade practices, the team of travelers have partnered with various artisans to offer bold, colorful bags & accessories. Each of our products are hand-selected in Guatemala then brought to the United States to be shipped to customers. The bags and accessories are made with real leather, huipil, organic cotton and Ixcaco cotton.
Huipil is a traditional cotton blouse worn by indigenous Mayan women in Guatemala. Hand woven fabric, both new and repurposed, are used with techniques that have been passed down through generations, utilizing bold colors and patterns.
Ixcaco cotton is the brown, organic cotton used in many of our bags. The brown color is the original color of the cotton that was first cultivated by the Mayan people thousands of years ago. It is a short fiber cotton that grows wild in the highlands of Guatemala. It's name comes from Mayan language describing the color brown or "caco" combined with "Ix" denoting gender identity for women.
Most of the white color cotton used in the design of our bags is dyed to create brilliant color utilizing boiling water and natural ingredients that include berries, tree bark and indigenous plants. It is then hand spun and hand woven with looms including a backstrap loom, one of the oldest forms of looming.
Every purchase of our Mayan crafted bags promote economic development in Guatemala. Each bag is hand-designed by men and women from communities throughout Guatemala. Supporting fair trade practices is important and ensures our suppliers are paid fairly for their time and work. As a result we have developed friendships with the artisans and their families. Each bags design is delicately hand designed and crafted. We know each bag to be of quality and uniqueness, as individual and adventuresome as you.