This past weekend, some of us went to a Jade workshop at a local Guatemalan's house. His name was Francisco and after the 6 hours that we spent at his house, he told us that "the next time we come to Guatemala, his house was our house." He allowed us to pick a piece of raw Jade that he cut from blocks of Jade that he, himself, carried down mountainsides. He then taught us the next seven or eight steps to create a piece of jewelry. These included molding, 6 different sanding belts, and polishing. Those who attended now have a much greater appreciation for jewelry. As we were taking pictures for our own personal collection, Francisco asked if we could take pictures of him and his family, as those would be the only pictures that the family had. Obviously, we were honored, and we will be printing out some pictures and delivering them to his house before we leave.
Below is a picture of a raw piece of Jade and the resultant product. Francisco tried his hardest to not help any of us throughout the process, since the Jade "nos respresenta." (Or- the Jade represents us.)
Below is a picture from our entire group after we ate a delicious breakfast on the way to Lake Atitlan.