Back to Santa Elena

What a great day! A couple of months have passed since I last traveled to Santa Elena. The editing process has caused me to be pretty one-track minded the past couple of months and I’ve not been able to make the 100 KM. trip…

It felt like a family reunion to be at Abel and Rosa’s home again. The children have grown over the summer and are happy at school. There are new piglets and puppies; lots and lots of turkeys and chickens pecking out in the back. The neighbor’s field of sunflowers is at its best and Abel says the corn is plump and juicy this year after a bountiful rainy season.

The icing on the cake is that the women’s craft project is successful. The group has grown to 15 and they are turning out high quality products.

Two years and five months ago when the project began, these ladies had no idea that they could contribute financially to the family economy. They did not have a lot of confidence in themselves and depended on the head of the household to bring home the bacon…  And very “lean” bacon it was. But soon, the village’s sustainability grew even more precarious. Abel’s poor paying job in the laundry department of one of Uxmal’s hotels dried up (thanks to the lack of tourists who were scared off by negative international press and a poor economic situation north of the border) Added to this was the failed harvest due to drought. The future appeared bleak indeed.

So everyone in the family compound, as well as the neighboring women started sewing, crocheting, painting and carving. Trial and error led to the development of an eclectic line of decorative home items and accessories. In fact the group will have a space at the AANY craft fair next month. (More about this event soon…)

Things are going well… they work hard but that’s a given when you’re building a business. It is amazing to see the energy and enthusiasm of this group of people who not-so-long-ago could not see any brightness in their future.

It is our hope that more villagers will follow this group’s example and find ways to make a living in their own hometowns and not have to move to the city (or out of the country) to find work.

    Every day occurances are the inspiration for the Santa Elena crafts

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4 Comments

Filed under Vida Latina

4 responses to “Back to Santa Elena

  1. Allison Morrill

    I’d love to see more information and photos showing more of the crafts products!

  2. Mary E. Moore

    Joanna,
    Thanks for the update on Santa Elena. It certainly sounds mostly positive out there, and I love the photos! I look forward to going out there with you and helping with the villagers’ crafts projects when we get to Merida — soon!
    Mary

    • Yes, I know you’ll be arriving soon in Merida. We are excited that you and Joe will spend the winter with us in Merida. It will be a pleasure to take you to Santa Elena-

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