In the summer of 2016, ten copies came from Guatemala of my then newly printed book: Guardianes De Las Artes: grabados de artistas y artesanos de Guatemala / Guardians of the Arts: Prints of Guatemalan Artists and Artisans were were sent to me by my Guatemalan publisher, Editiones Del Pensativo. They arrived in June, while I attended a Weave a Real Peace (WARP) conference in Santa Fe, NM. It was a delight to open the book package with WARP friends looking on. Finally (after ten years of work), I had a finished book in my hands and could share it with others!
The publisher, Editiones Del Pensativo distributes my book in Guatemala and Central America. But it is up to me to sell my portion of the printing in the US. To find a distributor was one option but difficult to do because of the small size of the printing. To sell through AMAZON was another possibility but I refuse to sell through them. This results that I sell to individual book stores, through my website and in in conjunction with my exhibits and lectures. Before the process of selling could happen, first, I had to ship my 400 books from Guatemala to the US. Thus, I began to realize the full meaning of importing and selling my part of the total printing. I had to learn about international shipping and deal with brokers. But it all happened, especially with help with friends involved with Fair Trade in Guatemala.
A high point to celebrate my new book happened in November-December, 2016, when I traveled to Guatemala to participate in two launch presentations. The Guatemala City event, was especially emotional, as a number of 60s and 70s friends and neighbors from Jacaltenango (where I lived longest) attended. Some had been my students in the art classes that I taught back then. One former student even remembered the projects I assigned them!
After the Guatemala City event, articles about me and my book appeared in two Guatemala City newspapers. In Antigua Guatemala, at the second book signing, a number of my prints, which appear in Guardians of the Arts / Guardianes del arte were hung in an informal exhibit. In an Antigua book store window, it was exciting to see my book displayed.
As soon as I returned to the US, I participated in the Rochester, NY Alternative Fair where I and other Rochester Committee on Latin America (ROCLA) members sold Fair Trade items made by Mayan Weavers and basket makers, something we have done for more than 30 years. Since the 1980s, when we sold weavings made by refugees in camps in Mexico to the present, when we sell Fair Trade items once a year, it is our small gesture in solidarity with the Mayan weaving and basketry artists. Profits go to the humanitarian projects supported by ROCLA.