this fella was outside the church offering up shots of tequila - i had one as did alex - but parker was having no part of it.
this morning a few of us - not just those from the school but others who had heard about the tour - went on a tour of a village outside oaxaca called Teotitlan del Valle. as tours go, this is not your regular tourista action, it's much more than that. there is an organization here that is dedicated to helping the women in the surrounding villages become more self-sufficient and helps them to start a small business or to take an existing one and help make it more successful or operate on a bigger scale. you may or may not be familiar with the term micro-finance or macro-finance but this is what this is. the organization gives qualifying women interest-free loans and with this money, they buy supplies, tools, etc. that will help them to get ahead - hopefully. and in return the women have a loan repayment schedule and must meet the schedule's demands - though there is a feel of flexability within the rules, or so i felt, based on individual curcumstances but they can lose financing if it all really goes south. the money, our tour cost for the day, all of it, 100%, goes to the women who are in the program. pretty good. pretty great.
we all piled in a van and went to Teotitlan del Valle and visited women in their stores and some in their homes seeing what they were doing with the money they were being given. it really was a great way to spent the day and be educated as to how the world works outside our north american comfort zone. because trust me, we're pretty fuckin' lucky, and pretty comfortable. (and i like it like the rest of you...i really do. but this is a great way to see not everyone wants an ipod. )
the rest in pictures...
before we get started...my breakfast this morning - a lovely huevos and sausage torta with queso, avacado and peppers. $1.70. what a rip.
this woman makes tepetes (rugs) that the town is very famous for. this tepete took her a year to make and would sell for approx. 12,000 pesos. not a lot of money for a year's work.
an awesome cacti fence outside the house of a woman who dyes wools for others to use in rugs.
she takes marigolds, moss and other natural products and extracts the color from them by by boiling the marigolds or...together with the wool.
the church in the middle of town. they were having a funeral so we couldn't go inside.
but we were encouraged to use the bathrooms as the ones at the restaurant we were going to were fairly primitive. you could go outside or inside.
some guys just need a nap.
this was my lunch after the tour at a restaurant in town. a haracha or garnacha...perfect.
they've got a lot of wires goin' on.
this woman makes the world's best flan...maybe. i bought a couple pieces and also tasted the yogurt she makes...if she had had any of the yogurt ready to go i would have been set for the week....awesome.
this woman makes the tepetes by hand on a loom, super old school style, and the quality is amazing. her daughters sometimes help as does her husband.
the wools she uses to make her tepetes.
this woman is making clothing in her home and she sells it at the local market.
she has a fairly good sewing machine except that the motor is broken so she pumps it with her foot until she can get some money to get it fixed.
her son was very proud of his new puppy.
the streets in the village.