Maricin Cheucarama Negria, a skilled Wounaan weaver, lives in a small village named Chepo, a short distance from Panama City, Panama. She lives with her mother Cristina Negria, in a small concrete house next door to her aunt, Miriam, and up the road from the third of the well-known Negria sisters, Dalia. Miriam comes from a family of master weavers, and learned to weave from them incorporating their style of rib-stitched birds and small-leafed greenery throughout her baskets.
Maricin and her family are not from Chepo and have only been there about 10 years. The highly skilled Negria sisters (her mother and aunts) moved there to have better access to public schools and the university. In the small villages where they came from lived there was only one school that went up to 6th grade but no further, so the sisters used their basket weaving income to move their families to Chepo where there is access to high schools and even a small satellite location for the public university.
Maricin has finished her high school education and started her studies at the university. She told her mother that she wants to be a businesswoman, nothing more specific but as she studies and learns more about her opportunities she will surely expand her choices. She likely will not be weaving while she is in school, and more likely won’t weave afterwards if she can find a job in the city, so her baskets are a rare treasure- one that enables her to use the income to create a different future for herself, and supported by her mother’s weaving which continues to supply income while Maricin is studying.