"Our inspiration comes from our beautiful family and from everything around us. But it comes mainly from God who has given us talent and harmony."
"I'm Nelson Hernandez. Like other textile artisans in my hometown in the Oaxaca Valley, I weave on the backstrap loom. My mother began teaching me when I was only six, and most women here weave to honor our Zapotec ancestors in the region.
"Very few men weave, although this has been my family's source of income and helped me attend the university. While there, I met Wendhy Salones, who became my wife. We both share a love for architecture. When we got married, we knew life wouldn't be easy, primarily because we had to choose between working as professionals or dedicating our time to my handloomed textiles.
"We eventually decided to continue our ancestral tradition. I weave the fabrics and taught Wendhy the technique. She transforms the material, sewing it into handbags, home décor and fashion accessories. She adds the clasps and snaps, and does the finishing work. She also focuses on selling our work.
"We've formed a wonderful team, and work with brothers and sisters, in-laws, some elderly people in our community, and other artisans here who had no source of extra income. We are also teaching our daughter Ixhel Itamar, born in 2004, and our son Fernando Daniel, born in 2007. We want them to value our cultural roots and to carry on this important activity.
"When we first started out, we looked for places to sell our work and even the smallest sale excites us, because it lets us bring food to our family.
"Today, we focus our effort and dedication to researching new fibers, dyes and tools that improve our weavings. We work hard to create quality designs and take care to see that the materials and accessories are the best.
"In addition to the backstrap looms, we work on a floor loom with a reed comb and create images such as the feather dancer, birds, flowers and geometric motifs. We like to work in 100 percent cotton and our designs are both traditional and innovative.
"Our inspiration comes from our beautiful family and from everything around us. But it comes mainly from God who has given us talent and harmony.
"Wendhy and I are sociable and dedicated. We dream of being able to contribute to our community's development. We want to teach our young people and see that they have the necessary materials and tools, and to perpetuate the art of the backstrap loom, which has been lost in many homes here.
"We hope that you like our work and feel the same excitement that we feel when creating our designs. We hope we are able to transmit a bit of our Zapotec culture and our love for weaving."