By: Miguel González Our products are beautifully exclusive In traditional Maya ceremonies and special events, bracelets, breastplates and other ancestral leather clothing was used. These types of products were the origins of how leather was used in Guatemala. Industrias Xela takes after this precedent in the artistry of leather working, called Marroquinería. Our artisans love to see where the products they create end up. "My handprint, the work of my hands and my creativity are in this bag. I made it! It came from the workshops of our company." Anahí Tuch, one of Industrias Xela's leather artisans, excitedly expresses. She explains that this is how she feels whenever she sees a foreign fashion magazine showing pictures of people wearing exclusive Guatemalan clothing. She's proud to see the ancestral mark of Mayan culture. Anahí Tuch is a young artisan who lets her imagination run wild in each product she creates. She strongly encourages young people to learn artisanal trade; trades that allow their creativity to escape any limitations. For Anahí, and many other artisans, these trades are centered in handmade goods, which are valued for their quality and exclusive materials. She believes that a small piece of leather or a tiny fragment of wood can transform into unique and incredible items at the hands of a creative. Nuance, music, magic, creativity and the diversity of Guatemalan culture are reflected in products made from Industrias Xela. These attributes shine through products made with weaving techniques, as well as other leather goods such as purses, wallets, cosmetic bags and more. The fusion of the Guatemalan art of leather combined with the leather working styles emerging from other continents, has ultimately formed the exquisite originality of Guatemalan artisanship. The high quality and specific craft of these leather products have become widely sought after around the world. Natural and Recyclable Products These products have additional value as they represent natural and eco-conscious standards. They especially are a sustainable source of income for Guatemalan artisans. Having consistent products to make helps to provide our artisans with reliable paying jobs. "One of the highlights that complement our bags and accessories are Guatemalan guipiles, collected from all corners of the country. They show an incredible amalgam of ancestral designs" commented Anahí Tuch. But the hands of the artisans are what truly complement this amalgam of accessories. From weavers, embroiderers, seamstresses, preparers, finishers; from creatives to designers, leather cutters to quality controllers, all of the artisans have a crucial role in the creation of beautiful handmade products. The Key is in team work Each person complements their role with great care and a responsibility to create a product of undeniable quality," says Cirilo Guerra, an artisan of Industrias Xela. "Artisanal workers must create quality products so that the doors may open to an increased and international market. All of these opportunities helps to give our families a higher quality of life," adds Guerra. There are still so many artisans to be discovered. Many leather products that are made in the remote communities of Guatemala are only waiting to be brought to light. One of the purposes of Industrias Xela is to promote these crafts full of ingenuity, talent, dreams and hope.