Textile sale will benefit Maya youth


A textile sale featuring more than 700 unique and beautiful textiles from the collections of 30 donors will be Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 31-Nov. 2 at the University Museum, Kent Hall, on the NMSU campus.

The museum and Weaving for Justice are sponsoring the fifth annual Textile Sale to Benefit Maya Youth. There is no charge to attend, and NMSU students will receive a 20 percent discount on items for sale.

In addition to textiles from Guatemala and Mexico, the sale will include items from the Andes and other parts of Latin America, including huipils (women’s blouses), yardage of cloth, table runners, jewelry, books, purses, story cloths, and tourist items.

All proceeds from the sale will go to scholarships for Maya young people in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize through the Maya Educational Foundation ( The foundation, based in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, works with Maya educators Chiapas, Mexico and Guatemala and Belize who coordinate scholarship programs and mentor Maya youth in those countries.

“It is still common for most Maya children to end school at sixth grade for lack of middle schools in their rural areas and funds to travel to where schools are located,” said Las Cruces anthropologist Christine Eber, who is the sale’s coordinator and is co-founder of Weaving for Justice, “a volunteer organization that assists the Maya weaving cooperatives of highland Chiapas to sell their textiles through fair trade in order to avoid having to migrate for work.”

Eber, fellow event co-coordinator Janet Darrow of Weaving for Justice and all those involved in the sale are working to “try to help (Maya) kids go as far as they can,” including middle school, high school and college/university in their own countries.

Each item for sale “is a work of art,” Darrow said, and is handmade by someone in Chiapas or a village in Latin America. “People really have fun when they come to the sale,” she said.

Some of the textiles that will be for sale date back to the 1970s, Darrow said. Prices range from $5-$200.

Each day of the fundraiser will include a showing of "Enterlacements:  Threads and Lives,” a new film about five people’s relationship with handmade cloth, Eber said. The move is about “the power cloth has to bring cultures together,” she said. Visit

Eber, who has visited Chiapas every year for the past 30 years, is the author of “When a Woman Rises,” a book published in 2018 that explores the lives of indigenous women in Chiapas, México and how they have been organizing to defend their lands and lives,” according to the news release about the book. Eber, a retired NMSU professor with a Ph.D. in anthropology, was chosen as one of 20 women to receive the 17th Annual Governor’s Award for Outstanding New Mexico Women.

For more information, email Contact University Museum Director Fumi  Arakawa at and Curator Anna Strankman at Visit and