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I am Heidi Villatoro a Guatemalan fashion designer, I  have lived all my life in the highlands of Guatemala. Living here you are constantly surrounded by examples of folk art, with local indigenous women dressed in their beautiful, colorful apparel as they would have been centuries ago.

I have been inspired by these traditional colors and textiles as well as by the people who make them. These ancient patterns and techniques- a guatemalan folk art- have inspired me to make a high quality product that ensures the folk art continues, not as a low cost tourist product but as something that will continue the use of ancient Mayan patterns and customs. The Atipico World team; seamstresses, weavers and shoemakers – determine the value of their work.

Five years ago I left my career in chemistry and engineering to embalk on my Atipico World Project, investigating the different weaving techniques and patterns and getting to know the artisans and people behind them. I started Atipico with the idea of joining the artists together to ensure that this Guatemalan folk art and cultural knowledge is not lost but, rather, continued and adapted in contemporay design.




 The arrival of industrial made textiles and the greater use of machines has affected the production of handmade clothing and thereby threatened the loss of this folk art that has been sustained over generations. Furthermore, the impact of the competition from cheap, machine made products has seen a deterioration in the standard of living of traditional folk artists/artisans. My project is a collaboration with these people which helps ensure a good standard of living for those dedicated to these traditions. This helps maintain a local, dignified source of work which is vital in rural communites where many people see the only option of employment in migration to the US.

Each of those artists collaborating determines the value of their work, thereby guaranteeing a dignified and well paid job to help sustain them and their families whilst preserving ancestral Guatemalan folk art. In the future I hope to expand the number of artists involved to have a greater impact on the community.

Thanks to your purchase, the work that our colleagues undertake can guarantee the economic well-being of their families while preserving the tradition of our beautiful country.