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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


December 1, 2013

Dear Friends of the Ixchel Museum,

Many thanks to you, our donors, for your continued support of our work over the years. Our important mission, to document and share the Maya textile tradition, depends on your generosity.


As is the case with so many organizations, FOIM receives most of its annual donations in the final three months of the year; and it is with this in mind that I ask you to support us once again this year, and also to consider increasing your level of giving. To those of you who enjoy our newsletter and have supported us in the past, please consider a gift this year. To those of you who enjoy our newsletter and have yet to contribute, please consider making an initial gift.  Every contribution is meaningful!woman


I’m asking for your support so directly because I realize that each of you receives solicitations from many organizations and that, over the past several years, the economy has been difficult. Along with other organizations, Friends of the Ixchel Museum has seen its yearly donations decrease over the last four years, and this has limited our ability to support US based educational projects and special projects in Guatemala. We continue with our work as best we can, dedicated to our special role in promoting the unique heritage of Guatemalan weaving, and are thoughtful and selective about projects and activities we support.


In 2013, your donations funded five significant projects in Guatemala.  We have refocused museum field research to document the current state of community festivals and cofradias, sending a three-person team--an anthropologist, a photographer and the museum registrar--to the field. In 2013, the team documented five different communities. Other projects focused on attracting more visitors to the museum and raising awareness of our programs. Finally, thanks to FOIM funding, Museo Ixchel joined the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and our museum director, Maria Renée de Aguilar, attended the AAM annual meeting in Baltimore.


In the US (and greater North America), we continue to support Guatemalan textile exhibitions, and the Guatemalan community residing in the US.  Inside the newsletter, you’ll find details on these activities, as well as about upcoming events.


With very best wishes for the holiday season and the New Year,



Raymond E. Senuk
President, Friends of the Ixchel Museum