Next morning, we took off for the town of Tzintzuntzan, well known for its pottery. We were looking for Consuela, who has created a unique style of pottery that no one else does. Her normal spot in the market was vacant, so we asked where she lived, and wandered up a dirt road where, after a few inquiries, we found Consuela's home. The home was a series of brick rooms, some open to the weather, some closed. She lives there with, among others, her son, who recently lost his four children in a fire. She wasn't exhibiting this weekend because a batch of her work had cracked in the kiln, leaving her nothing to show. She did have some plates, however, so Karen and Linda mixed and matched. She also had a lovely avocado tree in the yard, and we bought some for future eatin'.
Leaving Consuela's home, we saw an unbelievable sight - a small horse lugging a load of firewood with a dog atop the load!
While in Tzintzuntzan, we saw a small crowd in front of a lovely church. We walked over to investigate, and found a group of youngsters in costumes for Three Kings' Day. This is held on January 5, and is the day when Mexican's traditionally exchange gifts, rather than on Christmas Day itself. The children danced in the church as the priest blessed them and sprinkled them (as well as us with a smile) with holy water.
On to another village - this time to a place where they make pots. We entered another world - dirt roads, mangy dogs, no restaurants, hotels or tourist attractions - a place virtually no American would bother with. We parked the car, and knocked on a door that Clint pointed out. Although it looked like every other door on the block, a smiling woman opened and invited us in.
We were certainly the only gringos in the town, and it was clear that they didn't get many visitors. Generally, they show and sell their work in other towns, and at annual fairs, like the one in Uruapan during Semana Santa (Easter Week). Some of them work virtually all year in order to have things to sell during this one week of the year!
This is one of the artisan's houses we entered. Neat and clean, with dishes and glasses carefully stacked on the kitchen wall. But pitifully few possessions, compared to what we are used to. No running water, outhouses, etc. The toilet had a barrel of water with which to "flush".
After some discussion, we decided to go on to the "Pineapple" village, where the local artisans make traditional pottery in the shape of pineapples, a traditional sign of welcome. Although most of the pineapples are green, some are brown. They range in size from a couple of inches to five feet!
To be continued....