An excerpt from my final paper for my class:
... And I got to witness the handing down of a tradition. I got to witness it between Juanita and Candace, and between José and his dad Lucas, when we were learning about making Maguey fiber.
And then it got me thinking ... what happened to tradition in the United States? It's SO not a part of our lives. We are so quick to develop new technology. Let go of things old, as if old things are bad. As if the tradition is somehow meaningless. Have we lost ourselves? Our identities? Is that why we are so quick to redefine ourselves - new hair, new nails, new clothes, new technology, new noses, new boobs, new 'things' ... is that why we are terminally looking for something else? Looking for something outside of ourselves? Consuming, consuming. With nothing found. Maybe we need to look to the past. Look to our hands, and let go of the machines. Stop for a moment. Slow down. Listen and breath. Take out the headphones from our ears, and really hear what's around us. Look at each other in the eyes. Say hi. Say good morning.
On our final day, in my meeting with Mimi, I was asked what I would change about the design process here in Guatemala. I couldn't think of a thing. Instead, I said I wanted to bring Guatemala back to the United Sates. Slow it down, Work with my hands. Connect. And all while having faith that I can be successful in an industry defined by quickness and change.
I see happiness in the eyes of the artisans that I've met. I see depth. I see pureness and God. I see groundedness. I see selflessness. They have monetarily less, but they have so much more. They are rich. So much richer than so many of us in the United States. I want to be rich like them.