Thanksgiving: Latin American crafts, another way to give thanks

 

For many people, Thanksgiving is a family gathering with great varieties of food, and when thanks is given for the good times throughout the past year.

However, being grateful not only means appreciating what we have, but also having the opportunity to help others.

There are several ways to do so; one of them is taking care of each of the elements that we bring to the table and share with the people we love on Thanksgiving.

Although there are more and more ways to be a responsible consumer, one of them is valuing the crafts of the different cultures that surround us.

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According to Paulina Castro, consultant in educational and sustainable development projects with civil associations in Mexico, a craft has a unique value, so bringing it to your table on Thanksgiving gives it a very special meaning.

“It is very fashionable to want something ‘handmade’, but on many occasions we do not really understand what this means. For example, one craft will never be the same as another, even if it is made by the same person, with the same pattern.

“Each one will be different: maybe a little brighter, bigger, slightly smaller. It is a unique piece that you—and only you—are going to have in the whole world, and that is what makes it special when you have it in home,” shares Paulina Castro.

Having a handicraft in your home on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year implies telling a story. 

“Handicrafts always have something behind them; they are more than just a unique or beautiful piece. A craft conveys the history of the family or community that created it.

“In addition, many pieces have stories, legends, or fables within their own embroidery or drawings in which they transmit their cultural identity and worldview. You don’t have that characteristic in something you buy in a supermarket,” says Paulina Castro.

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Be responsible with our purchases

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The term sustainable is gaining strength; however, this not only implies preferring organic or recycled products, but also products that have a positive impact on a community.

Fernando Jiménez Fierro, author of the book, “How to be a sustainable fashion consumer”, explains the implications and benefits of supporting the purchase of handicrafts.

“Local consumption is a good approach to sustainability, it is a way to support entrepreneurs, to strengthen those communities, which we sometimes leave forgotten.

“And specifically when we opt for artisanal, it is a way of persevering a culture, which enriches any country and also any economy,” says Fernando Jiménez.

An example

 

A project that has sought to promote handicrafts from different regions and support small communities is This is Latin America.

Its products are not only handicrafts full of stories, but each one of its sales impacts families of artisans so that they can continue working on techniques that are passed down from generation to generation, which range from molding clay and hammering copper to embroidering multicolored shapes.

Bringing a piece of This is Latin America to your table this Thanksgiving will make it look more beautiful, not only physically, but also reflect the history of a family that hundreds of kilometers away does not allow to lose its traditions.

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