Nowadays, in the wake of the pandemic, Yucatecan communities have been affected due to the change in their usual activities, which allowed them to obtain an economic livelihood.
Handicrafts are an important source of income for families in many communities in the Yucatan, especially those near tourist areas. The elaboration of handicrafts is a way of rescuing traditions, revaluing them and sharing them with visitors.
Below are some examples of Yucatecan communities that are known for making various types of handicrafts, as well as how you can support them by purchasing their products.
1. Kaua. This village located between Chichen Itza and Valladolid, is home to a community-based project called Pujulá Aldea Maya Viva, which rescues and promotes the traditional knowledge and wisdom of the Mayan culture.
During your visit you can learn about the techniques used to make the traditional Mayan houses located in the area, as well as enjoy a delicious Yucatecan meal.
This cooperative focuses on kitchen utensils and household tools made of vines and sosquil, as well as wooden trays.
It’ll take you back to the life of our ancestors!
2. Ek Balam. In this community, besides the cultivation of corn, embroidery and hammock weaving are also practiced; these last two are a source of income for the inhabitants of the area. By visiting the place you not only support the local tourist cooperative with tours to the milpa, the rental of bicycles or touring the village on the community tour, but you also help the local economy by buying local products.
You’ll get a nice handmade souvenir!
3. San Crisanto. The Yucatan coast is also famous for its beautiful landscapes, which result in unique handicrafts. Especially a place that is known for its saltworks and mangroves: San Crisanto.
In the community workshops you can learn about the process of making coconut jewelry, so you can’t leave without buying some souvenirs for a loved one or a friend.
In addition, the cooperative offers boat tours to the mangroves, the saltworks and the coconut plantations, workshops in traditional coconut-based cuisine, accommodation in cabins and camping – a great experience with the sea breeze and a hint of coconut!
4. Tekit. One of the most relevant sites regarding the manufacture of guayaberas, filipinas, hipiles and embroidered blouses can not be missing from this list. This beautiful town is where the Ya’ax Tekit cooperative originated, dedicated to offering community tours in the company of the local inhabitants to carry out daily activities such as baking sweet bread and visiting a citrus grove.
After getting to know the community and refreshing yourself in the cenote you can contribute to the local economy with beautiful Yucatecan clothing for your special occasions or for your everyday use. There is a lot to choose from!
Because of the pandemic, co-ops cannot sell their crafts on-site, but we can take them to your home. Visit our social media accounts for more information. Start dreaming about your next trip and see what you can do in the Yucatan with us here.
Written by: Karime Reyes Chin
Edited by: Jan Martín Müller