Mayra Leticia Hernandez
'My name is Mayra Leticia Hernandez Lopez. I was born on July 12, 1983, and I create textiles on a backstrap loom. <br><br> "I was born into a family of six children. When I was a little girl, my mother earned a living weaving on a backstrap loom and she taught me this craft when I was seven years old. When I was six, my father passed away, and my mother was very shaken up because she couldn't feed her children. I learned how to weave and I had to help out so that she could sell her weavings and we could continue to go to school. <br><br> "I remember that my first weaving was small. It had a quetzal design on it and the word 'Guatemala' on the top. As time went by, I learned to weave better and I began making the <i>huipil</i> blouses that are traditional in San Antonio. After that, I began weaving my own designs and I realized I really love what I do - weaving soothes me and brings me much peace. The textiles from this area of Guatemala are reversible; they don't have a front or back. I enjoy using lots of colors, bright colors. I buy dyed cotton for my weavings. <br><br> "We have been through difficult times in my home. Once, we all got sick at the same time and it was hard to earn money for food. Since childhood, I have had health problems, Yet through my illnesses, I have learned God has given me many opportunities in life and things always happen because he has a purpose for us. <br><br> "I've been weaving now since 1990, although I've also practiced other crafts. When I was 13, a lady gave me the opportunity to sell ceramics in her crafts shop, and then I started selling traditional clothing with another woman. That's when I discovered how much I like handicrafts, because you get to meet many people. After that, a couple I knew taught me to sell and how to talk to and treat tourists so that they buy my crafts. <br><br> "Because I'm an honest, hardworking, responsible woman, I always give my best effort to reach the goals I set. A year ago I was able to open a small shop where I sell everything my family and I weave. One day, when I have more time, I would really like to teach my nieces to weave. <br><br> "Apart from selling and weaving, I like to study and to spend time with friends and family. I love to cook. I enjoy learning something new and putting a lot of effort into doing so. <br><br> "I am grateful to Novica for showing the world our weavings, as we create them with great dedication."