Oxlajuj B'atz' (Thirteen Threads)
Oxlajuj B'atz' (Thirteen Threads) is a non-profit indigenous women's empowerment and non-formal education organization based in Guatemala since 2004.
The mission of Thirteen Threads is to facilitate processes for Mayan women artisans to bring about change, through their own efforts, that will alleviate the adverse effects of poverty and improve their quality of life. Our mission is guided by the principles of harmony, democracy, and sustainability.
Through the encouragement of Thirteen Threads, our members become empowered by increasing their knowledge and skills. Their participation in democratically run cooperatives with other women they trust and respect provides them with the ability to earn a sustainable income, beneficial to both their families and communities.
In 2010, Oxlajuj B’atz’ became a social enterprise by initiating a Maya Women's Center located in the impressive historical building Casa Cakchiquel in Panajachel, Guatemala. The Center is a new direction in sustaining our capacity to enhance the lives of the Maya women artisans we serve. It combines a space for organization of our community workshops and trainings, a cooperative Fair Trade store, a community resource center, a workshop and meeting space, and a departure point for tours to the women’s villages. An additional expected outcome of the Center will be to attract local organizations and partners to share our space, ideas, and plans for collaboration.