Friday, May 21, 2010

Huehueteco's Laborious Hands

At the beginning of our journey through Huehuetenango I mentioned that through my readings about it, I was very impressed. Now that  during these past two weeks , you and I have learned about its geography, geology, water resources, sustainable and responsible coffee plantations, traditions, culture, poetry, people, just like the couple from Colotenango in the photo above... Let me tell you,  I am truly amazed of how much more Huehuetenango has for us to explore, and how much more it has to show us, including a paleontological site. We definitely have to come back!
The diversity of Huehuetenango is reflected not just in the landscape, or the weather conditions, or the agricultural activities; the diversity of Huehuetenango is reflected as well in the handcrafts produced by the Huehuetecos' laborious hands.
Being a place populated by deep-rooted Maya descendants, the articles they produce are mainly utilitarian and unlike so many other places throughout Guatemala where handcrafts are massively produced, the handcrafts production in Huehuetenango, although diverse, is limited and maybe because of that, the quality is extraordinary and the designs are unique and beautiful.
Huehuetecos are specialists in glazed pottery, saddlery, stone carving, basketry, candle making. They also produce fine acoustic guitars and beautiful imagery. There are some silver and copper mines, which provide the raw material to produce jewelry and embossed, among others.
As for the textiles, a subject of my particular interest, the production of some pieces is even more limited because they make them almost exclusively for their personal use and some pieces are truly works of art.
Well my friends, I think this is it for Huehuetenango. Before starting this trip, my biggest concern was that I wasn't going to be able to guide you through this stunning territory but, we survived! Until next week, when we are going to visit San Marcos, which will be our last Department in Guatemala's Highlands and the end of the second chapter of our journey.

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