Trip to Rio Lagartos

A few days ago I went on a trip with my mom, brother and some friends to a town called Rio Lagartos, Río Lagartos is within the Biosphere Special Reserve on the northern coast of the Yucatán on the Gulf of Mexico, just west of the border with Quintana Roo, and is famous for its enormous flamingo colony and large variety of other species.

We arrived in Rio Lagartos around 7:00 AM, had breakfast and rented 2 boats. We sail along the river for a little over 2 hours and enjoy the sights of white and brown pelicans, fishing eagles, herons of many white and pink species, ibis, crocodiles and the breath taking spectacle of thousands of American Flamingos feeding in the salty waters.

The area is the home to Mexico’s largest American and Caribbean flamingo population. It estimated that over 8,000 pink flamingos live within the now protected canals and mangroves just up the river from Rio Lagartos. Wild flamingos eat many different foods but their favorite is shrimp. The more shrimp they eat, the pinker they get.

After 2 hours of bird watching the guide took us to a salty pond, to take a bath in the salty water that keeps you up on the surface without any movement, and then we smeared white mud all over ourselves as we were told it is good for your skin.

We spend the night there and next day we went to Las coloradas, on the western side of the Rio Lagartos estuary its a large salt processing enterprise that collects salt from dry lake beds and ships it all over South America.  The water is all shades of pink and if you touch it, it kind of burns from the salt. The color of the water its because of a small organism that lives in it, called artemia, this is also the preferred food of the flamingos, so it also gives them the shades of pink. This place is so amazing and different that it looks like you are in another world.

For more than 2000 years, before the Mayans, salt has been gathered from the shallow lakes in the area and traded as a valuable commodity. It is bulldozed into huge mounds then processed, cleaned and packaged in the factory here.

And back in town….


Manos Mexicanas: Amandina!

When I started writing this blog, I was feeling a bit lonely in the crafts universe, at least in Mexico, blogging and crafting was not a trendy thing, and it was hard to find people that share the same interest. But lately I´ve been finding that now there are more people blogging about crafts and handmade things in Mexico, more people that share this passion, so this makes me very excited, to be able to share the same interest, and also because of this, now I have more options, like fairs and magazines here in Mexico. And also above all this, the fact is, at least in this part of Mexico where I live, crafts and handmade things were synonymous of bad quality, things made only from and for hippies,  so, when I see creations like this, that have all this passion and good quality its a placer to share it with the world.

Cuando empece este blog, me sentia un poco sola en el universo, en Mexico no habia mucho la cultura de los blogs y lo hecho a mano, pero ultimamente he descubierto que cada vez hay mas gente que comparte esta pasion y eso me emociona mucho, me emociona el poder hablar de las cosas que hago y poder compartir un mismo interes con mas gente en Mexico, y sobre todo que cada vez somos mas, y gracias a esto se pueden hacer cosas muy interesantes. Hay mas proyectos de difusion, cada vez se organizan mas ferias y sobre todo, que al menos en esta parte de Mexico donde vivo, lo hecho a mano era visto como de mala calidad, las artesanias solo las hacian los hippies por asi decirlo. Asi que cuando veo creaciones como esta, que tienen tanta pasion y calidad es un placer poder compartirlo con el mundo.

Amandina is a trendy concept in jewelry design, which fuses together craftsmanship and contemporary design and blends tradition with fashion, the result: unique pieces made with love that only the handwork of artisans can create. I love the work of this girls from Yucatan, their organic motifs, trees, leaves and animals are absolutely fabulous. More about Amandina here and at their Etsy Shop.

Me encanta el trabajo de estas chicas de Yucatan, Las siluetas organicas me parecen bellisimas, Arboles, hojas y animales son su inspiracion. Amandina, es un concepto innovador en diseño de joyería, su vision de la tecnica contemporanea se funde con la tradicion de la tecnica orfebre. Obteniendo como resultado una mezcla que conjuga tradición con moda, en piezas únicas e irrepetibles que sólo el trabajo manual de artesanos yucatecos puede crear. Mas de Amandina aqui o en Etsy.

Fiestas of color, music and traditions

On a recent weekend trip with my mom, we went to Tizimin, a town in Yucatan, and just at the entrance of the town we could see a crowd walking in the streets, I’ve seen that before, in Puerto Morelos, This are called Gremios, which are basically religious processions, I’ve always felt amazed by the colors and the music of the Gremio, since I was a little girl I saw my friends in the processions with their parents. And even though I’m catholic because that is how my parents baptized me,  I don’t professed any religion, but I like celebrations like this or the day of the Virgin Mary, because I like to feel the emotion of people and their believes.

Los Gremios (processions held by guilds or crafts association) are a fundamental part in the customs and traditions of the Maya people, who every year pay homage and give thanks for life, health and work.

Every town has his own date according to the patron saint. From that date the religious calendar marks 23 days of activity, every one of this days the different unions offer a Birthday ceremony to the saint, noon and evening mass are performed, at the end of this there is fireworks, ranging from simple light flying, to cypress, waterfalls, balloons, bull among others.

It is important to remember that the holidays Guild are the origin of the celebrations in Yucatan. They began when the first missionaries organized the indigenous people in the new population centers according to professions, they were assigned a patron saint and and gave them the date of celebration. The Gremios are the syndicates of the different professions like taxi drivers, shoeshine boys, butchers, bakers, henequen workers, shoemakers, market stall vendors, carpenters, and more. Each group reserves a day in the Cathedral for their procession.

This had immediate acceptance as the ancient Maya had a similar organization and simply replaced their gods by Christian saints. And so they were integrated over the years into guilds.

Today the guild are held in the days before and during the traditional festival.  Each guild leaves the house of the organizer in a journey that ends at the church, during the walk they carry banners with religious images and richly bordered inscriptions. Similarly the peregrinación, or religious prayer procession, is accompanied with religious music played on tympani and saxophones and shooting off fireworks, they go through the streets and arrive to the Church, offerings and badges are placed on the altar and is specially adorned with flowers and candles, and then celebrate mass. The entrance and exit of the groups is the part that is colorful and folkloric. At the conclusion of the ceremony, people gather together outside of the church to watch fireworks. The next day, after another mass, the guild leave their church and again travels the streets to the house of the one presiding and the party starts, food is shared among the people. This process is repeated during the days that the traditional celebration.

The guild processions in each village are true fiestas of color, music and traditions. The Gremios are also a wonderful opportunity to witness the intersection of Maya traditions.

* Pics taken by Enrikeh

Cover-up dress.

Everything falls in place…. A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me to make her a cover-up dress, after a lot of thinking -I was kind of afraid of measurements and patterns-  I finally did, but I got over excited about this and could not stop, I bought and I bought and I bought fabric thinking about the beautiful dresses I was going to make with it. I Started one night sewing a strapless dress, and could not stop, so, after few cover-up dresses made, something got in the mail, a Cover-up contest sponsored by Singer, Cool!!!!

I continue sewing and sewing until 5 am everyday, finally I had some nice dresses to shoot. I run into a friends of my brother, Carolina & Agatha, show them the dresses, and ask them if they could model for me. I explain everything about the contest and they got also so excited that promise to help me. I was juts thinking about taking the pictures myself you know, totally amateur but turns out Agatha is a Photographer and Carolina used to model, so thanks to them I got this beautiful shoots of my stuff.  THANKS GIRLS!!!!!

and finally… this are the cover-up dress that i submit to the contest, I hope I win!!!!!

I totally love this one, it’s inspired in the Yucatecan Huipil, that I always talk about.

This, has a detachable belt to wear with another outfit.

Fotografia: Agatha Lanz
Modelo: Carolina
Ropa y Accesorios: Guaya
Locacion: Puerto Morelos, Mexico

More Yucatecan embroidery

I know it looks like I haven´t done any crafts recently, I swear I had.. but I havent post about it, I´m sorry! I was invited to a Fashion show in Playa del Carmen for mothers day, they wanted to use my bags for the models and in exchange they will give me a place to sell my stuff during the show. But unfortunatly the show was cancel due the swine flu. All massive events were canceled and this was one of them.

But before this happened I was working and working to get something done for the show, I don´t have anything left since I´ve sold almost everything that I have made.

This are some of the things I´ve been making. This flower patches were made by Mayan Women, I bought them on a trip to Valladolid Yucatan, I wish I had bought more, originally I wanted to use them on bags, but one day I found a brown Tank top that I really like but was accidentally stained with bleach, and I though hey maybe I can cover the stain with one of this patches, I tried it and I could not stop sewing this to some new tank tops I had laying around. As you have seen I have this obsession with Yucatan embroidery. :-) I think I´m coming back to Valladolid to get some more.


Se que parece como que no he hecho mucho ultimamente, he dejado un poco abandonado mi blog, pero tengo una buena excusa, me invitaron a participar en un desfile de modas en Playa del Carmen para el dia de las madres, me pidieron usar mis bolsas para las modelos, y a cambio me darian un espacio en la plaza para vender ese dia. Desafortunadamente el desfile se cancelo debido a las alertas de influenza, todos los eventos masivos fueron cancelados y este era uno de ellos.

Todo lo que habia hecho lo he vendido ya, asi que tuve que ponerme a trabajar arduamente para poder tener material para el desfile de modas, entre unas de las cosas que he estado haciendo, estan estas camisetas, los parches de flores estan hechos por mujeres mayas, los compre en un viaje a Valladolid Yucatan, ojala hubiera comprado mas. Originalmente los queriausar para bolsas, pero un dia encontre una camiseta que me gustaba mucho, se habia manchado con cloro, y se me ocurrio que tal vez podria tapar la mancha con una de estas flroes, lo probe y me gusto tanto que no pude parar, use unas camisetas que tenia por ahi para otro proyecto y a coser se ha dicho. mmmm creo que   tengo una obsesion con los bordados yucatecos :-) creo que pronto regresare a valladolid por mas.

Yucatan embroidery

I’ve been planning to write this post for a while, taking pictures, finding the info, and finally I decided to post it. One of the things I like the most about Mexico is the beauty of the handcrafts, The skillful hands of the men and women artisans make Mexican handcrafts true works of art. And every state has it’s own style some similar some totally different to the rest of the country, today I’ll talk about my part of the country, the yucatan peninsula.

The “huipil is one of the symbols that characterize the Yucatan culture, this is the everyday attire for yucatecan women. The dress of Mayan women has not changed much since the pre-Hispanic era, and was known by the name “Kub“, a word which has been lost because now it’s called “huipil“, which is a nahuatl word. Made from white cotton fabric, embroidered with cross-stitched flowers around the square neck and hem. It is worn with a special petticoat called a “fustán”, ( “pic ” in Maya) which has lace around the lower edge that shows beneath the huipil.

The ceremonial dress, called the terno, has three pieces: the huipil, this time made from a silky material with embroidery around the square neck-line and hem, is finished with a wide lace border. The jubón is a short, fully-embroidered, square-necked blouse worn over the huipil. And, finally the fustán, embroidered with flowers which can be seen through the transparent lace of the huipil, also has a wide lace edge. The embroidery is done in cross-stitch and the motifs are usually flowers or geometric forms. The dress is completed with white or embroidered shoes, filigree necklaces of gold and coral, a headdress of ribbons and flowers, and the shawl of Santa Maria.

The embroidery can be done in different types, the most beautiful, and also the most complicated is the “xocbichuy” or cross-stitch, which is done by hand. The embroideries are combined, sometimes with the technique of “manicté” (xmanikté), which is a draught or deshilado by hand to form shapes or flowers by tethers. Some garments are only ornaments of this type, which shows the hard work and taste of women by making clothing. In the villages you can still see the classic image of a mestizo sitting on a bench in the courtyard or the door of the house, embroidering pieces of satin, chermés, Dacron or silk that later adorned some suits.


He estado planeando escribir este post desde hace mucho, y finalmente me decidi. Una de las cosas que mas me gustan de Mexico, es la belleza de sus artesanias, hay cosas tan hermosas y detalladas!!  Los hombres y mujeres que con sus manos nos deleitan, hacen de las artesanías mexicanas, verdaderas obras de arte. Asi que hoy hablare de una de estas bellezas.

El hipil, es uno de los símbolos que caracterizan a la cultura Yucateca, este es el atuendo cotidiano para la mujer campesina. traje típico de las mujeres yucatecas, se hace con tela blanca de algodón con hermosos bordados de flores en punto de cruz, alrededor del escote cuadrado y en el ruedo. El hipil se acompaña de una falda conocida como fustán, (“pic” en maya) con encaje en la orilla que se asoma por debajo.

El vestido de gala se llama terno y consta de tres piezas: el hipil, que se elabora de material sedoso con bordados, el jubón una especie de cuello cuadrado con una cenefa bordada en el ruedo y el fustán, que tiene una banda de bordados que se transparenta a través del encaje del hipil y termina en otro encaje. El traje se complementa con zapatillas blancas o bordadas, collares de filigrana de oro y coral, así como el tocado de lazos y flores para el peinado y el rebozo de Santa María.

El bordado se puede hacer de diferentes tipos, el más bello, y también el más complicado es el xocbichuy, o punto de cruz, el cual se hace a mano. Los bordados se combinan, en ocasiones, con la técnica de “manicté” (del maya xmanikté), que es un calado o deshilado a mano para formar figuras o flores mediante amarres. Algunas prendas tienen únicamente adornos de este tipo, lo cual muestra la laboriosidad y el gusto de la mujer por la confección del vestido. En los pueblos aun se puede observar la veterana, clásica estampa de una mestiza sentada en un banquillo, en el patio o a la puerta de la casa de paja, bordando pedazos de raso, chermés, dacrón o seda que más tarde engalanarán algún terno.