"I craft jewelry with tiny colorful seed beads we call 'chaquira.' I learned from my parents and they were taught by their grandparents; this family art has been handed down for generations."
"I craft jewelry with tiny, colorful seed beads we call chaquira. I learned from my parents and they were taught by their grandparents, as this family art has been handed down for generations. My grandfather also worked with amate paper, derived from the bark of wild fig trees. Our Aztec ancestors wrote pictographic books on amate paper.
"After we finished our chores around the house, we'd work on our crafts. I was only seventeen when my mother taught me, and I learned little by little.
"My first design was a ring, and I continued with a belt and other accessories. When I was nineteen, we moved to a large city and I began to work with my brother until I found a way to set up a workshop and craft my own designs.
"My two daughters are my motivation in life. Aleida was born in 2009 and Sofia in 2015. I'm beginning to teach this tradition to Aleida. Once she made a ring from beads and it was lovely, even more because it was made by her own little hands. She offered it for sale and it sold quickly. I told her, "Look! You were able to sell something you made yourself," and that motivated her a lot.
"What I like best about my work is letting my imagination fly. Playing with the colors and shapes inspires me. Every time I work on a new design, I try to imagine how it will look, and this is how I combine shapes and colors until I can see it finished. This is greatly motivates me.
"I remember a design that I found very difficult. It was a complex necklace with many colors and shapes. I used different shades of blue, red, orange, yellow and green, and figures like diamonds. It was a large and dramatic. I began to think that maybe I wouldn't be able to make it after all, but I took my time. After three days of work, I finally finished this design. And I realized that you can do anything as long as you are dedicated and constant.
"Attention to detail is extremely important to me. It's essential to knot the threads neatly so that every piece is pretty. I so enjoy working with my family. But this work has also let me give jobs to others in my community."