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The Seeds of Wisdom

Gratitude, Commitment, Fortitude, and Wisdom are some of the many colors woven into the purposeful life of my dear friend and beacon of inspiration don Emiliano Rosales Chial.

“Para el tejido es el diseño de los colores que representa la vida del ser humano, porque acá utilizamos trajes típicos que nos representa como indígenas de campo.”

Don Emiliano is a father, husband, brother, volunteer at the Biblioteca Comunitaria Rija’tzuul Na’ooj, and Leader in his Community of San Juan La Laguna, Sololá.

“It is the design of the colors in the weaving that represent the life of a human being, because here we use native dress to represent us as indigienous people of the countryside.”

Born and raised in his beloved town of San Juan La Laguna, don Emiliano leads a quiet life of profound personal faith. Nestled on the shores of the breathtaking Lake Atitlán, the town of San Juan La Laguna is not only a gem in the preservation of traditional weaving of textiles, but home to incredibly beautiful, smart, and kind people.

When I met don Emiliano, I was inspired by the humility woven into his character design. His ready to serve spirit to support the diverse and constantly emerging needs of the many children and the families of San Juan is uplifting. For that matter, neither are any of the disadvantaged children and their families residing in neighboring towns are ever left behind.

In his mission to do good, don Emiliano has been a dedicated volunteer for over thirteen years at the Biblioteca Comunitaria Rija’tzuul Na’ooj, or Seeds of Wisdom Community Library in the native language of Tz’utujil spoken in San Juan La Laguna. La Biblioteca is truly the heart of motivation, discovery, growth, perseverance, and unifying hope for the children eager to learn and their families hopeful to see them progress in a future built on uncertainties and adversity.


“Los niños son como la semilla que crece. Ahí nacen los niños sabiendo muchas cosas. Si nos damos cuenta en la biblioteca que salen de ahí como la semilla y empiezan a brotar en su aprendizaje de artesanía, de lectura. Ahí nacen los niños sabiendo muchas cosas.”

“Children are like the seed that grows. There the children are born knowing many things. If we take notice, the children come out of the library like a seed and begin to grow in their learning of artisanry, of reading.”

According to don Emiliano, education is at the core of each and every child’s present and future wellbeing. His vision is to promote a healthy and sustainable reading program, not only among the youngest members of the library in San Juan, but to open this opportunity to other children in the next-door towns who do not have access to a community library.

His goal is to make available the many benefits and resources a community library offers and to serve as many children, their families, and other residents. The mission is to include everyone and expand the functionality of the library’s resources!

And so it goes that, in don Emiliano’s interpretation, the San Juan La Laguna Huipil is the storyteller of its children sprouting as seeds to spread their wisdom and grow to embody a stronger and more promising future. At the same time, this education extends its emphasis on the childrens’ appreciation, protection, and preservation of the collective wisdom of their ancestral artisanry skills and history traditionally passed on from family generations.

At this moment, there is a weaving program at Rija’tzuul Na’ooj for the children to learn and preserve their ancestral heritage of weaving textiles. They learn and practice the intricate skills of weaving, as their small hands and fingers entwine threads or shreds of “izote” leaves on mini versions of backstrap looms. Always under the supervision of a volunteer master weaver who also teaches them to respect and cherish their calling to weave as generations past.

La Biblioteca Comunitaria is don Emiliano’s lifetime commitment in his plight to create a lasting impact in the childrens’ life now and their future. And that means, not leaving their past behind but rather embracing education as a means of preserving the life and sacredness of the weaving traditions inherently unique to the rural life in San Juan.


“Mi visión es fomentar la lectura. En la biblioteca, tener computadoras rachel para libros digitales para muchos niños en las aldeas que los necesitan y no tienen bibliotecas comunitarias.”

“My vision is to promote reading. To have Rachel computers in the library for digital books for many children in the needed towns that do not have community libraries.”


As an educator myself, I wholeheartedly heard don Emiliano’s loud mission for the children’s empowerment through education. In 2019, De La Sidra was honored to pledge collaboration to the children at Rija’tzuul Na’ooj and support their personal growth through education at the one other place they can call home.

Joining forces with don Emiliano’s vision in sustaining the education program, De La Sidra, is committed in a long term effort to assist and support the vital force in the children’s reading program at la Biblioteca Comunitaria. A contribution of 5% from sale proceeds of the handcrafted products in our curated inventory is dedicated to uphold “The Seeds of Wisdom” fundamental principle of empowerment through knowledge.

The funds will help in providing free and open access to the broad range of educational materials and services already in place. In addition, making available free technology resources to “los niños,” the children, is on the list for future essential tools as they weave their education with new survival skills to face the 21st century lifestyle changes.

Muchos sueños que cumplir, amiga, mientras que Dios me de vida.”

“Many dreams to make come true, my friend, while God gives me life.”

And just like the San Juan La Laguna huipil with its embroidered design of colors that represent human life, don Emiliano continues to advocate for the children’s empowerment through education. He dreams of uplifting the children’s voice loud and melodious in their plight to a kinder present and a brighter future, so they can hold steadfast as they become the leaders of their communities.

To honor the dignity of every child in and out of his beloved town of San Juan.

May the colors of wisdom that weave our values be designed to uphold the integrity of our actions to best represent our humanity in honoring the goodness and promise in each and every child. For like a “seed of wisdom,” each and every child is a blessing in our lives and a gift to the world!

Muchos sueños que cumplir, amiga, mientras que Dios me de vida.”

“Many dreams to make come true, my friend, while God gives me life.”


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