Mexican town exports millions of Christmas ornaments 12-21-11

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Michoacan, MExico (NTN24) — The town of Tlalpujahua in Mexico each year crafts 100 million Christmas ornaments — exporting the vast majority to the United States and Canada, bringing in much needed revenue despite hard economic times.

This year the Christmas industry in Tlalpujahua, located some 113 kilometres (70 miles) from the state capital of Morelia, made more than $110 million pesos (about $10 million dollars) from its creations — despite intense competition from cheaper Chinese products.

About 60 percent of its creations are exported to different countries such as Argentina, the U.S., Canada, Japan, Malaysia and some countries in Europe, while 35 percent of its products are sold domestically and five percent sold locally.

The town — which once thrived on income from gold and silver mines — fell onto hard times when the mines went bust but in the 1960s a local artisan created the first bauble factory.

Artisan, Jose Marin, said business began after a tragic event known as the “Lamas tragedy” in 1937 when a mudslide buried two mines and part of the town.

“This was a mining town. After the Lamas tragedy, Mr. Muñoz bought baubles to Tlalpujahua. Those of us who didn’t have jobs started having them. That’s how we started.”

Today, bauble manufacturing employs 10,000 residents working in 150 workshops. It is now among the five most important locations in the world producing Christmas ornaments.

Another artisan, Martin Marin, who works in one of the local factories, said all baubles are produced manually.

“We use lacquer and solvents to create paint tones. If we need a softer tone, we don’t use moulds. It’s all done manually and by blowing into the glass.”

A customer from Veracruz, Javier Jimenez, said artisans here pride themselves in producing baubles with love.

“It’s a craft employing a lot of creativity and beauty all Mexicans should enjoy because it’s done with love from our hearts.”

In the production process, men make shapes by hand-blowing glass and women decorate the ornaments. The ornaments are produced in an artistic way and sometimes up to seven people are involved in the production of just one bauble.

Most are decorated in sparkling colours, some even in the shapes of chillies, onions, carrots, apples, pears, bananas, sweets, birds or bells.

Comments

CHACH208 says:

I honestly prefer the Mexican one over the cheap Chinese ones

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