Discover the Ancient Aztec Art of Amate Paper

by | Artisans

Read Time: 2 min.

Preserving the ancient Artisan traditions of her ancestors, Maribel and her husband, Jorge, create beautiful amate art from the bark of local trees that grow near their village in Mexico.

Traditional Amate Art

The traditional amate art they create together not only helps provide them with the income they need for their family of six to be financially independent, but it also helps create jobs for other families in their community.
Maribel and Jorge live in an area of extreme poverty where safe sustainable jobs with fair wages, especially for women, are scarce.

Their newest creation, this limited-edition sunburst design is a mesmerizing blend of natural textures and patterns inspired by Mexico’s ancient Aztec heritage.

Sunburst Amate Art – Available Exclusively Through Trades of Hope
Once used as a primary form of communication, record keeping, and religious ceremonies in many villages in Mexico, amate art is traditionally handcrafted using paper pulp made from sustainable and eco-friendly tree bark.
Each piece of amate paper often takes one Artisan several days to complete.
Maribel and Jorge both learned the art of amate as a part of their local culture and family heritage around the age of eight. It’s a treasured skill and profession their families have passed down from generation to generation. They both grew up enjoying it as a form of creative expression for over a decade. But for the past seventeen years, their art has become a primary source of vital income for their family and for other families they support in their local workshop.
One recent customer and art enthusiast recently described the couple’s success in carrying on their families’ Artisan traditions, “they’ve been dominating their craft.”

While Maribel and Jorge have excelled in their craft, they have a greater mission at the heart of their business. Each piece of Sunburst Amate Art involves twelve Artisans to complete the entire process from start to finish. Every purchase of their Sunburst Amate Art impacts three families in their community with vital income to secure food, clothing, and shelter, as their local economy continues to prove unpredictable and undependable due to recent declines in travel and tourism. Their art is an expression of their ancient culture, their personal talents, and their love for the people in their community.

“We enjoy the full process, but we love seeing a new design come to life. We still find it a miracle that we can dream something up and make it with our hands.
It’s a blessing God gave us this gift!” – Maribel & Jorge

Art That Changes Lives

La plaza means “square”. Maribel and Jorge’s La Plaza Amate Art features a traditional square design.

Every Purchase Changes Lives

“Your orders have been a huge help this last year because we hadn’t had hardly any work since tourism has stopped completely in this part of Mexico.” – Maribel & Jorge
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1 Comment

  1. Carol Masters

    To the amazing Amate Artisans, you are truly artisans of the highest degree, such work, detail and color. Thank you


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Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas is an inspirational writer with a passion for helping women discover and celebrate their unique gifts and abilities. Kathy is part of the Communications Team at Trades of Hope focusing on Artisan advocacy.


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Trades of Hope is an ethical fashion and lifestyle brand that helps women around the world escape poverty and trafficking through our fair trade designs. Learn how you can partner with Artisans around the world here.