One of our weekly office visitors is affectionately known as "The Rug Guy". He carries a huge, heavy bag (left corner of photo) with him on the chicken bus as he heads our way from San Bartolo. I'm his best customer. I have purchased six rugs from him and have another three on order. When our office sales were in decline, I advised him to go down to the Demo to sell to the gringos who frequent the Mennonite bakery on Tuesday and Friday.
One day he delighted us by coming in with his wife and baby. We oohed and aahed so much over this little girl we woke her up. I felt terrible to do that, but the mom was completely unruffled by it. She is the mother of eight children and she is a real sweetie. She made this sugar server and came with her husband to encourage me to buy it, which I did. It is beautifully handmade and I love having Guatemalan treasures whose owners I have met.
Another day he brought his young son with him to sell the boy's handmade trucks. This one sits on the shelf in our living room. I'm sure we buy all these things for gringo prices, but that's fine by me. The money means far less to us than it does the hardworking folks in San Bartolo. The Flakes are the other senior missionary couple in the mission and they serve in San Bartolo. It's a hard place to serve, as there are an enormous number of street dogs and consequently a proportional number of fleas who happen to love Caucasian blood. There is no washer and dryer for the Flakes and no grocery store-only a handful of closet-sized tiendas.
The rug patterns are pretty stunning and they really warm up our apartment's tile floors. More than I like the rugs, I like supporting these mom and pop Guatemalan business ventures.