Rapidly, the handmade Mexican handicrafts sold by beach vendors are being replaced by cheaply-made Chinese duplicates. I refuse to be a party to this destruction of native craftsmen and artists, so this year for the first time, I have not bought. Today, however, when this hawker walked by my porch, barely bothering to pitch his wares, I called out to him. I’d been to the Michoacan village that was devoted to creating the craft he was selling, and what can I say? I bought two–one for me, and one for my friend Marjorie Pauline, who actually only had to borrow 200 pesos. What was it that made me break my resolve?
What bought I on the beach today, What could I not resist?
What souvenir of painted clay, what bauble for my wrist?
Though I have sworn no more to buy, why have I changed my mind?
Have I found a memento of a more novel kind?
The vendor started to walk by. I had to yell “How much?”
And within a minute, he had me in his clutch.
The price was right and he possessed the perfect pitch to sell.
He serenaded me and oh, he did it very well.
It mattered not that I had two others of its kind
waiting for me in my home, for it was such a find!
I bought one, and my friend did, too. She knew not how to play it.
But I was complicit. I did nothing to allay it.
I have no yachts or penthouses. I have no fancy cars.
But although I rarely play, I now have three guitars!!!
Click on photos to enlarge.
You can read about the remarkable village where these guitars are made HERE.