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The Mayan Women’s Beading Collective

05 Dec

Some of you are already familiar with the powerful Portals to the Self women’s retreats offered by the extraordinarily gifted therapists, Ceci McDonnell and Karen Rosenberg (with Lisa Hernandez teaching integrative yoga), on Isla Mujeres off the Yucatan Coast of Mexico.  It’s a wonderfully enriching, creative, exciting growth experience, where you’re guaranteed to be surrounded by wonderful company.  The next Circle by the Sea is set for March 17-24, 2012, by the way.  Registration for this closes on January 15th.

But there’s also a wonderful sidebar to this story, and that’s the Women’s Beading Collective (otherwise known as Karen’s favorite project in the whole world).  It started off as a small group of 8 women who supported themselves and their children through the sale of handcrafted, beaded jewelry, sold in a small shop on Isla as well as in the town square during fiestas and holidays.
Karen and Ceci started bringing seed beads with them from the U.S. down to the collective each time they came to host a women’s retreat.  This of course resulted in more jewelry being made, so Karen and Ceci started bringing back some of the finished traditional Mayan beadwork bracelets, necklaces, anklets and earrings, and selling them to family and friends here. With the proceeds, the women are able to purchase life’s necessities, pay for school tuition for their children, and even lay down the fee for a new English language school.

The collective is now up to 47 women and growing stronger every day.  They are enormously appreciative of all the effort that’s gone into helping them become self-sufficient economically.  Karen and Ceci now feel that their circle of women extends to include these women as well.

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award