The Christmas holidays are officially over today with the return to classes. It has been a wonderful, magical time filled with all the color and light that Oaxaca is so famous for. But with all of this, it has also been bittersweet.
There are children here who continue to go hungry, who don’t know the magic of Christmas that my child knows, and people who struggle every day in hopes of creating a better life for their children.
Yesterday I was at the home of a family who makes spectacular art work out of corn husks. Their story is familiar: a family with four young children, the father leaves for the States to find work and never returns, abandoning the family and leaving the mother with the responsibility of raising these children herself.
This family has very little that is obvious on any material level. As Eugenia looks around their austere home, she explains that they have nothing, not even a comfortable chair to sit in because all the money she earns making her corn husk creations goes to feeding her children and putting them through school.
Her oldest daughter has just graduated from medical school and is now doing her year of service as a doctor in the remote pueblos before she receives her title in the spring. She has two other sons in high school and one other who has graduated and is an artist in his own right, making earrings, figurines and flowers with his mother.
It is women like these, who despite their hardships have managed to create an example for their children of hard work, dedication, and determination in creating a better life for themselves and their children.
In my business I have met so many inspiring women like Eugenia who have faced tremendous obstacles in their lives, who have somehow managed to thrive despite the odds and go on to create beauty in the world and in their children. It is indeed a privilege for me to know these women and to support them in their enterprises.