About Friends of the Ixchel Museum

Friends of the Ixchel Museum (FOIM) is a U.S. charitable foundation established in 1984 that promotes interest in the Mayan textile tradition of Guatemala and the work of the Museo Ixchel. In this way, it contributes to the understanding, preservation and protection of this important cultural legacy.

weavingFOIM is made up of Guatemalan and North American volunteers who share an interest in Guatemala and their commitment to increase appreciation of Mayan textile art.

Every year, the Friends sponsor publications and projects both in the U.S. and in Guatemala. Among them are educational programs, ethnographic research and photographic documentation in several communities, as well as the classification and cataloging of the museum’s collections of textiles and photographs. It has also made possible the English translation and publication of several of the museum’s works, the production of videotapes in Spanish and English, and a Spanish language activity book for children.

Its work to publicize and promote Guatemalan textiles includes putting on exhibits in the United States and publishing a biannual newsletter describing both FOIM activities and those of the museum.



President’s Letter


June 15, 2015

Dear Friends of the Ixchel Museum – We send you our thanks for your support, and an update on this year’s activities as we head into the welcome summer months.

We held our annual meeting in Guatemala again and remain impressed by the excellent work done by the Museo staff under the direction of their new Executive Director, Claudia Monzon. Their field research and collection documentation continue apace. Their increased outreach is remarkable…a rich and active website and Facebook pages, noteworthy events on site, and the completion of “ExtraMuros” kits for mounting small exhibits at companies, hotels, and public spaces. Her team also presented funding requests for several projects, including an ambitious new special exhibit on Cofradías. This will make use of our sponsored field research and photographs, as well as contributions from recognized experts. We were delighted to enhance our usual grant commitments thanks to a generous bequest from the estate of Mikiko Stebbing. The Museo is now seeking matching funds for the new exhibit and a Cofradías publication.


Within the US, we affirmed Yolanda Alcorta’s cooperative work with indigenous Guatemalanwoman weavers in the Washington, DC area and continued our support. We hope to spark and facilitate more regional exhibits in 2016-17 – a goal facilitated by our newly-databased collection, which continued to receive donations of much-appreciated textiles and display dolls. If you are planning exhibits which could use our materials, please let us know.


Regarding our Board, we happily welcomed Lucy Leonowens and sadly accepted the resignation of Anabella Paiz. I will serve as President for the next term, fortunately with Ray Senuk as VP who will continue his terrific work on our collection/exhibit management, bulletin articles, and direct advice and counsel to the Museo staff in Guatemala. He is amazing.


To our 2014 donors, many thanks. You are acknowledged on the enclosed list, but that is just a small nod compared to our gratitude and that of the Museo for enabling so many worthwhile projects. We especially appreciate those of you who have sustained contributions over the years. Mil gracias!


Ana-Maria V. Zaugg
President, Friends of the Ixchel Museum