A loan of $3,525 helped a member to purchase materials needed for producing handcrafted woven and embroidered items, for example, white twisted cotton yarn, skeins of yarn in red, green, blue, orange, brown and purple colors, cotton embroidery thread known as candle thread, and for the replacement of certain tools used in waist looms, that is, wooden frames and pushers.


Tetepelcingo Group's story

The next group is called “Tetepelcingo”, a name which was given because they are all natives of this village and which means in Mixtec “hill of water” (yucu nduta). The Mixtec language is spoken by all the people who inhabit this village where the magic of nature and their colorful traditional customs mix together in abundance. San Miguel Tetepelcingo is located 45 minutes to the southwest of the town of Pinotepa Nacional and is characterized by its handcrafted weaving. There are twelve persons who make up the group, most of them craftswomen, and their representative is Demetria Hernández L..

On this occasion we will speak with Gloria Hernández Nicolás. She is 31 years of age and married to Francisco, 32, a lifelong farmer who cultivates corn, beans, squash and chile. Gloria is mother to four children who are: Edith, 15, who is in middle school, and Ricardo, 12, Franciso, 10, and Juan Carlos, 9, all three of whom attend elementary school. Gloria is a craftswoman since the age of eleven. Her work is the making of tortilla cloths, tablecloths, pillow cases and handwoven clothing, all of it created using an age-old technique called “telar de cintura” [waist weaving] which is called “sahcma-tavi” in Mixtec. It is a highly original and demanding technique since the origin of the threads is maintained up through the creation of the finished article. The entire process is a legacy dating back to the very distant past.

Gloria requested her loan with Fundación Realidad for the purchase of more material for making her textiles, as follows: cotton yarn for weaving, in white, blue, purple, red, yellow, green, orange, and brown. These colors are fundamental and characteristic of her work. She was also able to update certain tools such as frames and large pushers which are made by hand. She tells us that she does her handiwork at home and then distributes it in the areas surrounding Pinotepa and Jamiltepec. The journey is often quite difficult since during the rainy season there are road blockages or landslides. She says her mother taught her this profession and it is the only means by which the women in the area may feel useful. She still remembers that special moment when she made her first woven cloth and saw that the product of her hands has a use in the home, on a table since the napkins are for covering the corn tortillas.

Gloria’s great dream is to promote her handicraft in national and international markets, as in this way, work would be guaranteed to all the producers in this village area. She would like to create a cooperative society in which their products are met with appreciation. She also aspires to raise production, sell more in order to invest, and increase the number of special orders. She would like to improve her living quarters and offer a better education to her children so that some day they may aspire to something more.

Most of the group members are craftswomen and very dedicated to their profession. They are very responsible persons and when it comes to following through they always do. The women share the requisite trust and a spirit of mutual support. They help each other in everything and are very well-mannered.

On behalf of all those who make up this group, she thanks the foundation and those who in every way contribute to this project, a project which improves lives and stokes the dreams of the most vulnerable among us. She tells us “The essence of the human being is the ability to help others”.

The names of the Tetepelcingo group members and their businesses are:

Emilia Mariana Nicolás. – Weaver
Reina R. López.- Weaver
Rufina Hernández López.- Weaver
Sofía Hernández.- Weaver
Victoria López B..- Weaver
Gloria Hernández Nicolás.- Weaver
Josefa Hernández L..- Weaver
Demetria Hernández L..- Weaver
Marina L. Hernández.- Sale of drinks
Berta O. García.- Weaver
Yolanda López L..- Weaver
Inocencia L..- Weaver

In this group: Emilia Mariana, Reina, Rufina, Sofia , Victoria, Gloria, Josefa, Demetria, Marina, Berta, Yolanda , Inocencia

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Meg Wolfe-Roberts


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