When you wear the huipil you wear the shirt of my grandmother and great grandmothers picking grapefruit under the Texas sun during the long summers in the Rio Grande Valley.

When you wear the huipil you wear the shirt of the Maya who were trained since childhood in the intricacy and intimacy of the art of weaving such a beautiful cloth.

When you wear the huipil you wear the shirt of young girls who were married at thirteen.

It was called the poor man’s shirt. You wear the shirt, but not the oppression of those who wore it before you.

When you wear the huipil you wear the shirt of the women who were raped in the mountains of Mexico and Central America. The women are nameless and their attackers run free.

When you wear the huipil you don a crown of femininity, but also of invisibility and a lack of humanity.

When you wear the huipil you wear the shirt of girls who never had the chance to receive an education, yet you dye it green and gold to adapt it to the colors of a school that does not understand the culture from which it comes.

When you wear the huipil, you wear the shirt of la doña that doesn’t speak English, but has a heart full of love to give.

It’s easy to wear a huipil when you have so much culture you don’t realize that you’re taking ours.

When you wear the huipil, you wear a symbol of resistance.

When you wear the huipil, call it what it is. Not a sunshirt, or a Mexican top, a huipil.

When you pass your head through a huipil, you enter into another world. You’re welcome to come into ours, if we are welcomed into yours.  

Photo Courtesy of Pablo Gonzales