Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Artisans turn to making face masks from palm leaves

Indigenous artisans in Oaxaca are making face masks out of palm fronds in order to make a living during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The native Mixtecs from the town of San Miguel Huautla normally use palm leaves to create hats, fans, cords, earrings, baskets and other handmade products, but demand for such items has dropped during the health crisis.

While conventional face masks are either impossible to find or severely overpriced — selling for 50-100 pesos (US $2-$4) a piece — Juana López and her fellow artisans are selling theirs for only 5 pesos (US $0.20) each. They appear to fit loosely, but are washable, reusable and easy to disinfect.

Such informal workers depend on tourism, mobility and lively public spaces in order to make a living, but the coronavirus pandemic has drastically diminished these activities over the last 45 days.

Selling palm products is the only source of income for these artisans who work daily to cut, dry, mature and form the leaves into various items.

With a little help from the government’s mandate to wear face masks in public, their initiative has taken off regionally, and López and her fellow artisans have found customers in nearby Asunción Nochixtlán, Huajuapan de León and other neighboring communities.

But she and friends aren’t the only innovative Oaxacans to have contributed beneficial products to the fight to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. Zapotec artisans in Juchitán de Zaragoza are making face masks adorned with the embroidered designs from the traditional blouses called huipiles worn in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec region.

And earlier this month, 12-year-old Jorge Martínez of Oaxaca city designed and produced plastic face shields with a 3D printer to support health workers treating patients infected with the virus.

Meanwhile, Governor Alejandro Murat posted a video to Facebook in which he and his wife demonstrate how to make a homemade face mask out of a scarf and rubber bands.

Source: Milenio (sp)

Have something to say? Paid Subscribers get all access to make & read comments.
Worried guests gather around a hot tub in Puerto Peñasco

Wife of US tourist who died in Puerto Peñasco hot tub electrocution files US $1M suit

5
When she saw her husband struggling under the water, Zambrano jumped in to help, only to be electrocuted herself.
A group of mostly Black migrants, some of whom maybe be undocumented foreigners, walks down a Mexican highway under a bright sun.

Nearly 1.4 million undocumented migrants detected in Mexico so far this year

1
The National Immigration Institute (INM) data on encounters from January to May is almost double the number for all of 2023.
NOAA satellite imagery of low pressure system in Gulf of Mexico

Meteorologists monitor possible tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico

0
A low pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico could become a tropical storm by midweek, as torrential rains hit the Yucatán peninsula.