Product Design Internship

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Program Description

Through our Artisan Program, we purchase handcrafted beaded jewelry, handbags, houseware, accessories and more, directly from local Guatemalans at an ethically determined price and sell them both locally and internationally.

We currently have an opportunity for a product designer to work within our network of local indigenous artisans to develop new fashion items marketable to western customers.

Internship Objectives:
● Design homeware,accessories and clothing items for men, women and children using traditional fair trade Guatemalan textiles
● Produce designs to be woven by Guatemalan women and sold internationally
● Design various beaded products
● Project manage the entire design process, including trend research/forecasting, pattern making, textile design, technical flats, sampling, trims and details, choosing appropriate fibers and creation
● Develop specification sheets that are easily used by illiterate weavers, quality control, production
● Collaborate and manage communications with international clients to create exclusive designs, products and ranges
● Collaborate with contacts in rural communities to achieve desired outcomes for clients
● Coordinate marketing, styling photoshoots, illustrated tutorials, graphics, gifs, etc.
● Create visuals for social media posts (Instagram, ETSY, catalogue, Blogspot, Wordpress, Facebook)


● Opportunity to grow your portfolio as a designer
● Opportunity to work directly with local artisans
● Opportunity to live within another culture and learn about Guatemalan artistry
● Opportunity to develop foreign language skills
● Opportunity to work with the support of a Program Director, gaining valuable managerial experience
● Opportunity to work with in a team environment
● Opportunity to build strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders


Desired candidates will have clear and concise communication skills in English and/or Spanish, highly developed administrative skills, strong attention to detail, patience, and the ability to project manage while respecting the ideals and business methods of local culture. Specific qualifications and requirements include:

● Tertiary education in fashion, textiles or similar field
● Experience in product design
● Fluent in English or Spanish, both preferred
● Excellent time management skills
● Ability to work independently and in a slow-paced environment
● Ability to work towards strict deadlines
● Expertise in Photoshop and Illustrator
● Knowledge of Microsoft Office programs
● Experience with Etsy
● Ability to sew, pattern and create textile designs
● Ability to create specification sheets
● Experience in trend forecasting
● Ability to relocate to Panajachel, Guatemala for a minimum of 3 months
● Preferred knowledge of textile weaving and design
● Preferred experience in human resourcing and project management
● Preferred experience in visual merchandising, fair-trade costing, sales

Internship Types

What`s Included

We do not charge you to volunteer with Mayan Families like many organizations do. However, we do not provide any financial assistance, housing, or meals. You are responsible for all of your own expenses, including travel to and from Guatemala. We are, however, happy to assist with arrangements for transportation, housing, etc.

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Program Locations

Panajachel, Guatemala

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Program Details

Mayan Families
  • Guatemala: Panajachel
English, Spanish
Throughout the year
3-6 months
American, Asian, Australian, Canadian, European, Kiwi, South African, Worldwide
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