September Buying Trip~ A Long Ride in the Back of a Truck for Much-Needed Income
Wednesday afternoon, I descended into the chaotic, huge and beautiful Mexico City... before hopping the connecting flight to Zacatecas. My aunt met me at the airport and drove us to the city she and my uncle live in--Fresnillo.
Thursday morning dawned fresh and clear as my aunt and I headed out to buy bolillos (amazing, fresh-made warm rolls, dusted in fine flour) to make scrambled egg sandwiches for our women. I have known fewer places with as consistently invigorating and gorgeous mornings as Zacatecas. The fresh air seems to promise a fantastic day, while the clear sun--shining so directly at this altitude of some 7000 feet--smiles down at the nearly empty streets and life slowly swinging into action. We were excitedly anticipating good things to come, and praying all the details would come together well.
A local church graciously said our buy day could be hosted in their building, and we were so thankful for a safe, cool place for the ladies to set up and display their creations.
My aunt and I arrived there with our egg sandwiches and pineapple juice. We began setting up chairs near tables for the ladies and awaited their arrival. They had called and said they were almost there. This was it!
And, they came! So, this is the part of the story that always makes me teary-eyed. These women woke up a 4 am and loaded into the back of a *uncovered* truck to make the 5 hour trip to town. Down the mountain, through very rough terrain and a scattering of communities. Without breakfast. Some of them, with their babies. Many of them were not feeling well, but they came. For us. How humbled that made me feel!! They believe in us. These are the kind of women your purchases are empowering, supporting and loving!! 💗💗💗
11 women came on Thursday, but they brought jewelry made by their friends and relatives. So, in total-- we purchased items from 22 women. That is 22 families directly impacted by your purchases. 22 families where the mama's hard work is rewarded with a pre-determined and good price. Where the expectations are clear and attainable. Where the employers (all of us) truly want each of them to succeed. So amazing. Also, it has been a prayer of mine that Tribal Designs be a place where community mindedness and rising WITH each other be central. This buy, I was able to see a lessening of tensions, of comparing and more of a relaxed and happy togetherness. It thrills my heart!!
And then the fun begins: Shopping!! This is the part where each of you are in the forefront of my mind as I select designs and colors. I am SO thankful for those two ladies pictured with me in the first photo. In the background is Rebecca, the kindest woman you could ever meet. She made herself busy most of the time, cheering the women on and praying with whoever wanted prayer. In the foreground is Ana who is a wonderful local missionary. She helped by giving me support and by keeping tabs on how much we were spending. No easy task!
Also--not pictured--is my amazing aunt Sheri who not only took all the great photos of this day, but also helped this day go as smoothly as it did, with her knack for details and foreseeing needs before they arise. I could not have asked for a better team! 💕 Also, I shop for handmade jewelry in Mexico for my job. What is my life right now?? Sooo thankful!
This picture is a bit blurry, it's true. But it is one of my favorites from this day! Seeing the women's faces brighten with laughter-- especially when they are usually so solemn-- is the best thing ever. Here, we are sharing a laugh about who knows what as I am talking to them all before leaving for the day. I was telling them about the vision for Tribal Designs and thanking them for all their amazing work... and their patience. I told them that they are creating quite a fan club here (which raised some eyebrows! 😁)... and that their pieces are received with love. I told them they have many people praying for them! Thank you, thank you for being a part of this!!
We ended the day with a cooler full of jewelry! What? Isn't that where you store your jewelry?? 😆😆
The trip ended with me catching a ride back to San Antonio with my aunt and uncle. I never tire of the mountains, hills and cactus-dotted plains of central Mexico! Thank you so much for following along with us on this trip! We hope this has helped Tribal Designs come alive for you! We exist because of you. 😊💗