Injustice, Coping: Fine Oaxaca Black Pottery Maker Goes to Santa Fe International Folk Art Market

Right now, there’s mango cardamom chutney cooking on the stove. It’s a clear, cool day after a series of heavy rains and the sky is brilliant blue. White puff clouds hug the mountain just beyond my reach, and I’m thinking about the injustices in our world and how people cope.

In about three weeks, I’m leaving Oaxaca and traveling to Santa Fe, New Mexico, for the International Folk Art Market where I’m volunteering. For artisans, it’s a privilege to be invited to this juried and highly competitive exhibition market.

This year, the market welcomes Jovita Cardozo Castillo, an exceptional master artisan of black pottery from the Oaxaca village of San Bartolo Coyotepec. It is her first visit outside of Mexico and to the United States, as part of Innovando la Tradicion and associated cooperative Colectivo 1050 Grados.

I appeal to you to give to The Wayfinders crowdfunding campaign to help cover her expenses to travel, sleep, eat and ship her beautiful work. And More!

Jovita needs all the help she can get! Why?

Wayfinders 04 | Haz que Jovita llegue a Santa Fe, NM. from Innovando la Tradición a.c. on Vimeo.

Jovita’s husband, Amando, a fine potter, too, and head of their family workshop, has been diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a pretty rare disease with unknown causes. Medical researchers believe it is linked to the Zika virus. The couple have three children. Amando is in hospital for the past two months, unable to speak, with paralysis and the prognosis isn’t clear. The family has spent more than 150,000 pesos for public health treatment. This is a huge sum in Mexico, equivalent to about $10,000 USD. The long-range implications of a head-of-household not working will have a huge family impact.

Donate Here!

Note: If you are making the gift from the U.S. or Canada, please log into Generosity with your Facebook account. Otherwise it won’t work because we just discovered this Indiegogo donation site was created in Mexico! So Sorry! Don’t use your email address. It won’t work. Many thanks for your support.

Or make your gift with PayPal to:

They won’t have to pay a transaction fee if you send it to family/friends!

One of the children stopped going to school for a semester to help at the ceramic workshop, since they have orders to fulfill and Amando is not able to work. 

Jovita does not want you to feel sorry for her and was reluctant for us to share this very personal information about family circumstances. She wants your support for the Wayfinders crowdfunding campaign because she is an exceptional artisan and nothing more.

 Celebrating the Humanity of the Handmade

But that is not the complete story, and the family situation makes this appeal even more urgent and necessary. I talked about it with Kythzia Barrera and Diego Mier y Teran, who lead Innovando la Tradicion. They spoke with Jovita, who agreed that without support, the financial stress on the family for out-of-pocket expenses to go to the Folk Art Market would be a burden they would not easily recover from.

Will you help? Any amount will make a difference.

I don’t personally know Jovita, but I know her work. I know that handmade Oaxaca artistry and craft take time, is a family heritage, is multi-generational and the best quality can be hard to sustain as some cut corners and turn to more commercial production methods.

 Help for Jovita

$1,331 raised toward $8,000 goal. That’s 17%. We can do better!

What your gift will help underwrite:

  • Market registration fees
  • Air and bus travel to Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Lodging and food
  • Shipping cost (I can’t imagine what it costs to build wood shipping containers, package and send pottery to make sure there is no breakage!)
  • More possibilities for Jovita, Amando and their family

If Jovita sells out without encumbrances, she will have the funds to help her husband recover. Will you join me as a donor? Thank you.

All my best, Norma




14 responses to “Injustice, Coping: Fine Oaxaca Black Pottery Maker Goes to Santa Fe International Folk Art Market

  1. I was able to donate on PayPal tonight, it was not a problem.

  2. Hi Norma,
    I cannot make it work…
    Perhaps I can just slip her a donation at the show?
    I think I will do that….
    Please call when you are in town…

  3. ¡Hola!. I used PayPal and it worked just fine.

  4. The link for donations does not work. A message comes up saying that email address is not valid. There is no way to even put in an email address.
    It’s too bad if this stops people from donating.

    • We are having a problem with the donor site. Perhaps because the account was set up in Mexico and not the U.S. or Canada. Seems like some of you are having trouble with the link. A donor this morning made the gift by using her Facebook account instead of entering an email address and it went through. If you don’t have Facebook, please send me a private message and I’m in the process of trying to find out from Innovando la Tradicion if there is another way to make a gift. I am helping them out by sending out the appeal. I didn’t set up the donor site. So, please know I’m doing my best to help them and you! email me at I’m so sorry for this inconvenience. Norma

      • OK, WE FIGURED IT OUT! You can make your gift through PayPal directly to Innovando la Tradicion/1050grados and Jovita.

        Please use the fund transfer process to send $$ to family and friends. The email address is In the message, give your name and tell Kythzia and Diego that the gift is for Jovita.

        Thank you, J. Leclair, Kathryn Leide, and Katharyn Rayner for bringing this to our attention and giving us the chance to make the corrections. We appreciate your patience. We hope you haven’t been so frustrated that it hasn’t stopped you from making a gift! You have our sincerest thanks and all our best, Norma, Kythzia and Diego.

  5. I tried to give a donation to Jovita through Indiegogo. It never went through, and I cannot see why. Is there another way, through PayPal perhaps?

    • I used the Facebook login instead of the email address (which didn’t work for me, either) and it did go through. Seems like Paypal is not an option here.

      • Kathryn, thank you again. For people who do not have a Facebook account, please send me an email with the amount you wish to gift and I will send you a PayPal link to transfer the funds to me and I will be sure that Jovita gets your donation this week. I’m so sorry for this glitch. -Norma

  6. I was not able to donate. Is the account not set up for international donations from the US?

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