About Friends of the Ixchel Museum

Friends of the Ixchel Museum (FOIM) is a U.S. charitable foundation established in 1984 that promotes interest in the Mayan textile tradition of Guatemala and the work of the Museo Ixchel. In this way, it contributes to the understanding, preservation and protection of this important cultural legacy.

womanFOIM is made up of Guatemalan and North American volunteers who share an interest in Guatemala and their commitment to increase appreciation of Mayan textile art.

Every year, the Friends sponsor publications and projects both in the U.S. and in Guatemala. Among them are educational programs, ethnographic research and photographic documentation in several communities, as well as the classification and cataloging of the museum’s collections of textiles and photographs. It has also made possible the English translation and publication of several of the museum’s works, the production of videotapes in Spanish and English, and a Spanish language activity book for children.

Its work to publicize and promote Guatemalan textiles includes putting on exhibits in the United States and publishing a biannual newsletter describing both FOIM activities and those of the museum.

The Museum itself is located in Guatemala City. A short and engaging overview can be found in a recent article in Revue Magazine (May 2017 issue). For more information, see the 'Museum Highlights' section of this website.



Friends of the Ixchel Museum Bulletin

Current Bulletin - November 2017



The Legacy of Margaret Julia Ward Lewis

by: Raymond Senuk


On New Year’s Day 1929, Margaret Julia Ward disembarked in Puerto Barrios with her husband of two months, Bevan Blau Lewis, beginning a life in Guatemala that would continue for the next 15 years. They were both trained as civil engineers at Purdue University where they met and fell in love. Bevan was to work for the United Fruit Company and later the International Railways of Central America. Their three oldest children, all daughters, were born in Guatemala. Margaret had become the friend of Carmen Pettersen, a renowned Guatemalan artist, who originally specialized in landscapes and later became known for her watercolors of Maya in traje (costume) published as the Maya of Guatemala. Their friendship and correspondence continued until Margaret’s death in 1955. (to read full article, download November 2017 bulletin)


In This Issue

  1. Huipils from the Alta Verapaz - The Legay of Margaret Julia Ward Lewis
  2. Ixchel Museum News
  3. Welcome to Alejandro Malespin - new FOIM Board member
  4. Advancing Audiovisual Access


View/download the current issue to continue reading »

View the bulletin archive »