Check out our brand new Have A Heart earrings, just in from our jewelry cooperative in Honduras. The earrings are part of our collection of pewter jewelry, with the pewter being made from recycled soda cans collected and processed by Lencan (indigenous) artisans. These earrings are just $19/ pair and are in a very limited supply, so grab them soon if you want to give them for Valentine’s Day. They are of course fair trade and, being from recycled materials, are eco-friendly to boot.
I’m conflicted about what to think about the recent ouster of Honduran president Jose Manuel Zelaya. The military showed up on his door in the early morning hours last week and flew him out of the country while still wearing his PJs. The reason? He had been trying to hold a voter referendum to change the Honduran constitution so he could run for another term (the current constitution only allows for one term). Technically the referendum was illegal so many supporters of the ouster are claiming removing Zelaya was a legitimate military action to uphold the law. Others (including our media and most Western leaders) are calling it a coup.
In the opinion of one of my contacts in Honduras, from the non-profit ACTA de Honduras, the military’s actions were actually upholding the law (and upholding a ruling by the Supreme Court to have Zelaya arrested). The pictures in our news media are of violent clashes between demonstrators and police, including a few days ago at the Tegucigalpa airport when Zelaya tried to land his plane but was kept out by military aircraft.
Alessandra has pointed out the thousands of Hondurans marching in peace marches across the country, which our media is not reporting. Also that the military was just following the orders of the Honduran Supreme Court. So who gets to decide this one? The world political leaders or Hondurans? I’m still not sure what to think but I do think our media and our leaders need to pay closer attention to what the Honduran people want.
A few weeks ago I wrote about the Honduran potters who make eye-catching ceramic beads for Bambootique’s jewelry. Today I’d like to introduce Aurora, whose hands touch every piece by turning the beads into wearable works of art.
I don’t know a lot about Aurora. She is quiet, small and probably in her late 40s. She sits daily at a large table in a cramped room at ACTA de Honduras’ headquarters in Tegucigalpa. The room is full of natural light, even on the cloudy day I visited. No space is wasted in this room full of product samples and drawers and shelves dripping in beads.
She shyly told me a little about herself when we met last month. She told me about her four children, the oldest trying to figure out how to pay for university. She told me how she moved to Tegus from her village a few hours away so her children could go to school and she’d have work. She told me about how she likes to go back to her village, as Tegus will never be home. And she told me how she enjoys making each piece of jewelry by hand, expressing both her artistic abilities and those of her colleagues who handmake each bead.
I love this jewelry from Honduras because of the contrast between the rough beauty of beads made from earth with fashion forward designs. Aurora is a humble woman whose life revolves around family, work and traditions. She wasn’t wearing any of the jewelry she makes the day we met, and I doubt she ever does. But she smiled while she worked and seemed to truly enjoy what she was doing. Into each necklace or earring she shares a little of her people’s traditions with us. For that gift I am grateful.
Aurora showing me how she chooses beads for a necklace.