Sunday, January 29, 2012

Melaque Area

Melaque in only a few miles from our RV park and shares the beach with Barra de Navidad. We found it to be a bigger town with more RV parks, stores, restaurants, and people but it's similar to Barra.
While wandering around we found an incredible store with gorgeous handwoven rugs and other crafts. Actually we had just stopped to get some water and happened to look across the street where we saw a beautiful display.
We were able to speak with Reynaldo and his wife Teresa who were in their store. They told us about the rugs and the tradition of weaving that has been in their family for hundreds of years. Following is an excerpt from their website..

For Reynaldo and his family, making rugs (‘tapetes’) is not just a business; it’s a way of life! The Vasquez Hernandez family, an indigenous zapotecan family, have been creating beautiful designs for hundreds of years, and passed them down from generation to generation.
Their rugs are completely hand made on traditional looms in their home village of Teotitlán del Valle. The wool yarn is hand spun and dyed using all natural dyes, and the unique designs are based on traditional colours and patterns.
In December each year, Reynaldo and his immediate family (Teresa, Reynaldo, Felipe, Jessica and Reynaldo Jr.) travel to Melaque, Jalisco to sell the rugs made by the whole family. The rest of the family continue weaving more rugs during the winter in Teotitlán del Valle to send to Melaque for sale.

Teresa was working on weaving a rug and we were able to watch her. There was a book in the store that detailed the process from shearing the sheep to the end product but unfortunately they only had one copy.  Reynaldo said he would have to make more and they wouldn't be in until after we're gone from the area. 
We are always thrilled when we can experience the process and see the work that goes into creating a beautiful craft. Having the opportunity to meet the artisans is very special. Of course we didn't leave empty handed and purchased a couple of rugs and a handwoven belt. Reynaldo told us that he sells quite a few rugs in Boulder and other areas of Colorado, so those of you who live there can keep an eye out. Their website is quite fascinating and has pictures showing how the rugs are made from start to finish. Just click on Reynaldos Tapetes for more information.

One day we took a drive up the coast to the little town of La Manzanillo to meet some of our friends from Hacienda Contreras for lunch. We had a nice lunch with Heinz and Ulli, Paul and Helen, and met some new friends as well.
It was a nice day and we enjoyed the company, the food, and the beach.

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