Saturday, November 29, 2014

On the Back Roads of Mexico - Tlalpujahua, Michoacan, Mexico

Several years ago while driving the back roads to Chinqua, one of the nine butterfly sanctuaries, we passed through the village of Tlalpgahua, Mexico.  It's the village that makes bazillions of Christmas ornaments for
export to the USA and beyond.

Stopping briefly, it has always been in the back of my mind that I wanted to go back and take time in the town.

Then a couple of weeks ago, this is the sight that greeted me in the aisles of Bodega Aurrerea, the downscale Walmart in San Miguel.
Loose in this big bin, I knew they had to be from Tlalpujahua.  No, I can't pronounce it.  The only thing I know is that the first T is silent, after that you're on your own.

It brought back that yearning to go there.  In addition to the ornaments, there is one of the two ancient feather artist left working there.  Also cantera is carved and sold there.

Then I remembered that Todd of  published an article about this village.
Here's the site.    He
goes into depth about the town and even places to stay.

The gypsy in me is stirring.  However, in the mean time I think I'm going back to buy some loose ornaments.  All the other stores that sell things have them boxed in beautiful packaging.  I like the idea of buying and touching each one I want......for less then a penny each! 


Retired Teacher said...

I've heard of that town. It is supposed to be quite picturesque and has been named a "Pueblo Mágico". I didn't know about the Christmas ornaments, so I wasn't sure if we were thinking of the same town. But sure enough, I checked it out on Wikipedia, and the article goes into some detail about their ornament industry. The spelling is Tlalpujahua. (Sorry, it's the former schoolteacher in me. LOL)

It's hard to believe that Christmas nearly upon us. I will be heading back to Mexico City shortly, not as a tourist, but because my friend down there is having surgery. But it will allow me see the Christmas lights in the city... something I haven't seen in quite a long time.

Babs said...

THANKS for the correction. I couldn't find my notes from my trip to the monarch sanctuary so I went with the name of the blogpost. It didn't look right to me.........

Have a safe trip to DF. Please keep me informed, I care.

I haven't been in DF at Christmas since the 70's. I'm sure it is still awesome.


Retired Teacher said...

Thank you, Barbara.

Droelma said...

Unfortunately christmas decorations are no longer what they used to be here in the D.F.
When I arrived here just under 20 years ago I was really impressed. Now every year the decorations on private homes are less and less, because the electricity is so expensive here.
I only decorated my three front windows one christmas season and ran three candle type electric decorations from December 1st through New Years from 7-10 pm and it cost me just under 4000 pesos including home electricity which also goes up during the holiday season. I no longer decorate using electricity and I think thousands of families do the same.
Of course the " Centro " still has it's decorations and so do certain places in Polanco and in other posh neighborhoods. But on the whole it's become a lot less .
I have about 15 ornaments from Tlalpujahua that I inherited from my MIL many years ago. She bought them as a young woman. They are handblown and hand painted and very beautiful and quaint looking. She gave them to me, because her grandchildren decided that they did not match the chinese made plastic ornaments which they preferred and she was going to throw them out. They are one of the few things I have from my husband and his family.

Babs said...

Interesting information Droelma! Very few houses have lights outside here. I never thought of the cost of electricity as the reason. Wonderful to know you have ornaments from that village. I NEED to go and visit it in depth.

When I moved here almost 15 years ago, there were no Christmas trees to buy, anywhere. And decorations were minimal. That has definitely changed.......Now the decorations are up before Thanksgiving at the stores, but not in the jardin til December, thankfully.

sylvia said...

I love that little town!!!
The have a big market where only ornaments are sold! It's magical!

sylvia said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Babs said...

Thanks Sylvia for posting. I DO have to get back there. Not so much for the ornaments BUT to meet one of the ancient plume de arte men. Feather art......