Up for a full-day canoe trip and a three-hour hike through the jungle? That’s right – visiting this remote community of basket weavers is not a walk in the park. This long trek is worth the while though – it’s here, you’ll find a group of incredibly talented women brimming with excitement for their craft.
One conversation with Clementina, the leader of the group, and you can immediately sense the passion for and pride in their work – a skill passed down by her mother, and that she passed down to her own daughter. She’s constantly thinking of her role in progressing the craft – whether it be teaching a new weaver or iterating on traditional designs, she wants to do her part in making sure this tradition lives on.
And this craft is definitely not for the faint of heart... Not only is the weaving itself challenging, but sourcing and preparing the materials is what takes the most effort. These ladies collect paja tetera fibers in the jungles, carry them on their backs, then after a multi-day process of scraping, drying, flattening, and soaking, they then finally weave the strips together. All the hard work pays off though – stunning, handwoven baskets that are rich with heritage. A truly beautiful thing.