Marcos David Vielman
"I learned a lot from my father, and I'll always be grateful to him. Today, he and I work together.""I was born in Jocotenango, a town near the city, in 1985. I grew up in a lovely home with people who are hardworking and inspiring. My father had always practiced artistic carpentry. Jocotenango is well known in Guatemala for its woodcrafts, and people from all over the world come to buy.
"From the time I was a child, I watched my father work and he'd let me help with simple tasks. I always wanted to try to craft the ideas that came to mind, but I was too small for my father to let me use the tools. I did what I could with the safest tools and crafted small items. I learned a lot from my father, and I'll always be grateful to him.
"Today, he and I work together. He cuts the wood, and I carve and finish our designs. We each help one another and share ideas. He continues to offer advice and guide me as I improve my technique.
"It's not easy to be an independent artisan. There are difficult times and even periods in which there's no work, or when we face losses because there's no wood we can work with, due to the humidity.
"In our free time, we let young people come and learn the craft with our tools and carve pieces of wood we're not going to use. This is fun, and we know that these boys are learning a trade they can use in the future.
"My work inspires me a lot. It makes me feel useful, creative and happy. For me, a piece of wood is a reason to dream, to create and to let my hands, chisels and sandpaper bring an idea to life.
"The entire experience of being an artisan has been a beautiful journey. But one of the best I've had was when they told me that people from Novica were here. I learned how Novica works and how great this is for an artisan. I presented my designs and today I have this window on the world where I can display my work and where I feel appreciated as a person and as an artist."