In 2010 I received a grant from the Congress of Honduras and FUNDEIHM (A Honduran Non-profit) to lead a community fiber art project with 52 Lenca indigenous women from Lempira. I invited the founder of the Chicago School of Weaving, Natalie Boyett, to co-lead workshops in natural dyeing, embroidery and production. Each of the women dyed fabric and received an embroidery kit. For many, it was the first time they received a job contract to produce embroidered flowers that would later be appliquéd on a large life-sized embroidered Lenca woman tapestry designed by Natalie. The women were paid a fair wage for their labor and were given free workshops and tools. When the tapestry, Mujer Lenca, was completed, the women, Natalie and I were invited by the President of the congress and his wife, Juan Orlando Hernandez and Ana García de Hernandez, to present the art piece to the National Congress of Honduras. All of the participants were given recognition for their outstanding job by Juan Orlando and Ana (currently the President and First Lady of Honduras). We felt honored and like one of the women said “we felt important”.

In a machista culture, were women don’t have a voice, art provided a way for our voices to be heard.

Video Produced by LENUME (Sam Sanchez, Andy Patch and Zach Rockwood)

Images taken by Aaron Wood

Images taken by LENUME (Sam Sanchez, Andy Patch and Zach Rockwood)