OLD - About Us
A mission steeped in Guatemalan culture
At Casa de los Gigantes, our mission is to create handmade crafts using earth-friendly materials. We believe that our crafts bring warmth and humanity to an increasingly technological and disconnected world, while providing our artisans with a dignified way of making a living.
We care deeply about social justice, and this is reflected in our relationships with our artisans. We pay them well, allowing them to make a living from their art while continuing to practice traditions that were passed down for generations in Guatemala.
In purchasing from our store, you are supporting these artisans, as well as the survival of Guatemalan history and culture.
We support talented Guatemalan artisans
Our vision is a world in which artisans are valued and their work appreciated for its aesthetic, cultural and practical values.
We help link the culture and traditions of Guatemala with the modern world, so that these traditions may continue and the people who share them may earn a fair wage and be paid for their art.
Handwoven & handcrafted with ♡
Almost every item we sell is made entirely by hand, making each piece unique and intrinsically valuable.
Our products are a reflection of the varied artistic skills of the people of Guatemala, each an expression of fierce beauty and artistry. While making our products, we strive to only use sustainable, eco-friendly materials.
Our extensive and varied collection includes beautifully hand-crafted items for your home, kitchen, and living spaces, as well as fashion accessories, handmade jewelry, and seasonal items for Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Behind each item is a powerful history of traditional techniques, patterns, and culture, which we are proud to share with our customers.
The legend behind ‘Casa de los Gigantes’
Casa de los Gigantes takes its name from a seventeenth-century legend about the giants, larger-than-life wooden figurines who are paraded during religious events. According to the legend, during one such procession, an unexpected downpour forced the people carrying the giants to ask the owners of this house, (the very same house in which our store is located today) for shelter. The house’s enormous doorways provided an ideal refuge for the giants. That evening, a curious boy peeked through the keyhole and was frightened by what he saw: huge men with swords glistening at their sides, standing poised for battle. The little boy ran through the streets, screaming for help.
Fearing that pirates were holed up in the house, the townspeople sounded the alarm, and all the churches’ bells began pealing. The soldiers arrived, assisted by neighbors, ready for a fight to the finish. They placed a cannon and fired the first cannonball, demanding surrender. Upon hearing the thunderous explosion of the cannon fire, the owner of the house, Don Cristobal de Alvarenga, appeared with his entourage of servants. Instantly, they were completely surrounded by armed soldiers.
Don Cristobal immediately pulled out a white flag. To convince the soldiers and townspeople of his guests’ identity, he threw open the huge doors. Suspecting a plot, the men fell to the ground, ready to fire. When they saw that the “pirates” were only wooden statues, the soldiers doubled over in laughter. That night, there was much joking among those who had mistaken the giants for pirates. From that time on, this house has been known as: “THE HOUSE OF THE GIANTS”.