My neighbors want to fix up their house. They need a kitchen. They want to replace the fabric curtains with real windows to keep out the cold and fortify the walls and roof of an old adobe house to keep out the rain. They are a household of three generations of women: grandmother is in her late 80′s, mom is in her early 40′s, and the nine-year-old daughter loves to read. She needs new school shoes.
Everyone works hard. Mom makes the some of the best tamales in town. She learned from her mother who learned from hers. She makes them by hand, grinds the corn on the metate then makes a dough, rolls the masa between her palms, presses it on a tortilla press, stuffs the dough with a chicken caught from the yard, fattened with organic corn then cooked, adds a secret family recipe of mole made with chicken broth, tucks it into carefully wrapped corn or banana husks, folded or tied neatly, and steams the packages over a water bath for an hour. Sometimes she makes hundreds. I know she is up every day at four in the morning. I buy these for 40 cents each. Sometimes I buy more than I need.
About the only thing of real value they have to sell to raise money for house repairs and construction is heirloom 10k gold jewelry.
I said I would help, so I am posting photos and I will bring the earrings to the U.S. when I leave Oaxaca on April 7 — if you care to make a purchase. Let me know which you like and I will invoice you with PayPal (plus shipping). Because this is a fundraiser and the money goes directly to the family, I will add-on the 3% PayPal fee to your invoice.
Zapotec women love their delicate filigree gold earrings. It is usually the only adornment they wear. They will receive a small pair of earrings as a gift for a birthday or a baptism, a larger pair for a quinciniera (15th birthday), and then later a more substantial pair as a wedding present.
Husbands will often give gold earrings as a love token to wives. The size and intricacy of the earrings are a symbol of prosperity and status.
Grandma took off her large gold filigree earrings tonight and asked me to sell them for her, too. I said, no. They are very old and I know what they mean to her.
And, here is a beautiful tri-color bracelet with traditional mesoamerican greca design, inside circumference is eight inches. 10k gold, $300.
The family appreciates your consideration!