Tag Archives: batik


Prostitution has been the main source of income for the women at Casa de Esperanza. Leaving prostitution means these women must find another way to support themselves and feed their families. So the past four days I’ve been training women how to batik fabric. And they’ve been teaching me how to put out fires. Literally.

Yesterday while melting wax, the heat burned a hole through the pot. The wax caught on fire and within seconds the flames spread beyond my control. I was panicked. Thankfully, several of the women in my class (along with Jan) were able to quench the flames. Nothing was lost that can’t be replaced and no one was hurt. And I learned a valuable lesson: water isn’t the solution to an oil-based fire.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, here’s a primer on how to batik:

Heat candles over the stove (try not to set them on fire)

Dip tools in hot wax

Create a pattern on muslin

Soak muslin for 1 hour in dye, stirring occasionally

Rinse in clear water and hang to dry

Iron fabric between newsprint or paper towels to remove wax



Sneak Peek

Still processing the first two days; when my thoughts can form a coherent sentence I promise to write a reflection. In the meantime, here are a few photos…

hanging the batiked fabric out to dry

the young girls returning from primary school

afternoon siesta in the girls dormitory

campus housing at Casa de Esperanza

Elizabeth and Hillary (wearing a dress made by our sewing team)