Traveling Mari

Mari is loving Guatemala!

5 Days, 5 Pairs of Boots December 9, 2013

Filed under: Guatemala — Mari Gray @ 10:15 am



Woohoo reposting from, the Gray Boots Blog ūüôā

kickstarter challenge

Just 5 days to go, and only 5 more pairs of boots to meet our Kickstarter goal!  Still looking for the perfect gift for a lucky girl?  Let her design her own pair of one-of-a-kind boots, while supporting Guatemalan artisans!

Free international shipping.  The campaign ends this Saturday, December 14th, at 7:00pm EST.


Gray Boots Kickstarter Project Launched! November 26, 2013

Filed under: Guatemala — Mari Gray @ 5:09 pm
I can’t believe it… it’s up and running! ¬†Check out the Gray Boots Kickstarter Project and help spread the word!
How it works: The goal is set at $2,000, and people pledge how ever much they wish, and they receive the corresponding rewards at the end of the campaign (Saturday, December 14th!) given that the total goal is met. ¬†If we don’t make the $2,000 goal (oh no!), nobody is charged and no rewards are given.
This is a pretty small project, with a small goal and low production caps. ¬†But by combining orders and taking advantage of people who can take suitcases full of goodies to the states, both you and I are able to save on shipping. ¬†So take a look yourself, and please spread the word! ¬†If you are looking for a lovely gift for a special girl, consider giving her the gift to design her own pair of unique boots! ¬†There’s no way you can go wrong with a gift like that!

 circle boots


El D√≠a de los Muertos November 10, 2013

Filed under: Guatemala — Mari Gray @ 10:53 am

I spent the Day of the Dead, November 1st, with some friends in Sumpango, where they hold a gorgeous kite festival every year.  They fly kites with diameters up to 6 meters (or was it it 8?) which translates to GIANT KITES.  This tradition is said to have started to be able to communicate with the dead who are up in the sky, and also to chase away the rain as by November 1st the rainy season should be coming to a much-anticipated end.

The cemetery was festive, with family members having a picnic all-over and eating their¬†fiambre, a traditional pickled dish, together. ¬†Children flying kites everywhere, families laughing together, graves decorated with marigolds… all-in-all probably the”happiest” visit I have ever had to a cemetery.



















Sample Boot Sale October 22, 2013

Filed under: Guatemala — Mari Gray @ 3:54 pm

Finally what we’ve all been waiting for… The Sample Boot Sale! ¬†Check here:

This small-scale trial is capped at 20 pairs, and starts today.  Design and order your own pair now for only $100 including the shipping with tracking to the US.




Tall Boot 2


Boots October 13, 2013

Filed under: Guatemala — Mari Gray @ 2:39 pm

As my friends and family know by now, I am getting ready to start a new project of my own. ¬†The school year is coming to an end here in Antigua, and I’m excited and nervous to start my project: a leather-textile company.


This is only a little sneak preview as I still have TONS of work to do to make this idea into reality.  The essential idea is to make quality leather products locally here in Guatemala, starting with boots, that incorporate traditional Mayan woven textiles.  These products will be unique, and a way for upcycling old textiles that are no longer worn.


So take a look, and stay tuned for lots more, coming soon!


Short Straight Boot






Antigua Ruins

A big thank you to my friend Nicky Bolland for the lovely photos!


The Farm September 21, 2013

Filed under: Food,Guatemala — Mari Gray @ 4:31 pm

I like to sometimes joke about the garden produce by calling it “child labor salad” but in all seriousness, the garden at the school is great. ¬†This is the school down in Antigua called Oxford, and just to clarify, these kids are in no way going hungry. ¬†The kids have Organic Farming as part of their week, and those who sign up for after-school classes come farm some more with their awesome farming companion, me.

I would like to take this opportunity to show off some photos of The Farm. ¬†I usually get my hands dirty and so am not the one to take photos… But as you can see, the few that I have are quite impressive (right??). ¬†I wish my school growing up had a little farm like this one at Oxford!



Using tires for beds and wine bottles for irrigation during hot days.




Mama Chicken! She unfortunately turned into dinner for one hungry cat. I got so attached to this hen, I was devastated…





On a field trip to the local organic farm where we get our seeds and seedlings.

On a field trip to the local organic farm where we get our seeds and seedlings.



Post- Mama Chicken farm animal: Captain Fluffy Jumpalot.  His best friend is the school dog.  Now if I could just get them to snuggle....

Post-Mama Chicken farm animal: Captain Fluffy Jumpalot. His best friend is the school dog. Now if I could just get them to snuggle….


Little Girl June 11, 2013

Filed under: Guatemala — Mari Gray @ 1:04 am

When I was little, I had a superpower. ¬†Maybe I still have it but it’s not nearly as powerful as it used to be. ¬†I could transform. ¬†One day I would be a little Mayan girl in Guatemala, and then in the sun I would turn into a dark-skinned girl with a crazy ‘fro. ¬†Over the years, I’ve had people ask if I was part black, or Native-American, or filipino, or South American…¬†


In all seriousness, when people ask where I am from, it’s always a bit difficult for me to answer. ¬†And now I live and work in Guatemala, where I was born. ¬†But I wouldn’t say I am FROM Guatemala ( except from when I got that scholarship in college for being Latin American, that ¬†is ). ¬†That’s all very confusing to explain.


I just found these photos of my transforming supergirl days.