Our Mission

and Goals

From Founding to Almost 100 Maya Artisans

MayaBags was founded in 1999 by Judy Bergsma, Jovita Sho and five Maya artisans from different villages in the Maya Mountains of Belize. Today, the MayaBags talented team of shareholder/artisans has grown to over ninety Maya artisans.




Why we do what we do

teaching financial literacy

familiarizing women with the local banking system, which many have never used before; including all the women in the shareholders’ annual meetings, using visual analogies and translators to take them through the balance sheets; counseling women individually on how to balance their budgets so that they can send their children to school, keep food on the table, and pay their bills

inspiring personal achievement

developing quality employment skills; raising Maya women’s self-esteem and giving them an independent voice in their families and communities and in MayaBags as a shareholder; rotating the team leader’s position in each village MayaBags’ team so each team member can experience the role as a leader

building a village economy

creating jobs where there were none; empowering Maya women; providing a stable source of income; creating a role model for other entrepreneurial ventures, outside of the norm of slash and burn farming; with a larger number of people in the village employed, more cash gets circulated inside the village, helping small stores and vendors with their businesses

celebrating creativity

reinvigorating Maya pride in their traditions and environment; combining designer and artisanal product concepts; balancing vivid and traditional Maya colors with Pantone seasonal colors; executing beautifully detailed construction; employing hand-made craftsmanship to create luxury quality

MayaBags Mission​​:

fostering ancient skills, inspiring personal achievement, building a village economy, teaching financial literacy, celebrating creativity

fostering ancient skills

embroidery; back-strap looming; basket-coiling from rainforest plant fiber; slate, coconut, and gourd carving; hand-processing fiber and hand-making rope from agave; leather processing using a fully-natural and ancient method of curing the hides with eggs, water and bark; leather cutting and stitching

Stay in

the know

Customer service



P: 917-697-2203

F: 212-496-7668

MayaBags is a proud member of the Nest artisan guild, a global community of over 400 artisan businesses practicing diverse craftsmanship across more than 70 nations. In partnership with Nest, a non-profit 501(c)(3), we are working toward a more inclusive global economy that brings increased opportunity to our craftspeople, their families, and their communities.

MayaBags® is a registered trademark of WorldWrappers, Inc.

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