Tinkuy or Bust

Weavers from Cusco

It wasn’t my first time in the Andes, that trip in 2005, but it was the first time I felt a real connection to the people and the incredible textile work being done throughout the region. I was on a tour sponsored by the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco (CTTC) and its North American […]

The Perfect Bag: Part One

This story has two parts. It starts when I was in a tourist shop in Eastern Mexico in 1997. Flung on the shelf amid the usual stuff—bright pottery, Aztec gods, naughty little clay figures, painted wooden jaguars—was this bag. “Cuanto questa?” I asked in my pathetic high school Spanish. “Not for sale,” the shop girl […]

When Photos Go Viral

When I was in Guatemala last month, I had the novel experience of a traditional Maya woman surreptitiously snapping a picture of me with her phone. It was unnerving, but it was only fair. I’d been taking snapshots of her people all week, usually but not always asking permission. I just had never thought of […]