Tuesday, April 23, 2013


As summer approaches, I have been thinking about new items for the store.  There will be some new t-shirts.  Some new lenca pieces.  In addition to those things, I was something new, as in different.  I have long wanted some of the junco.  I just did not know where to find it. 

After an internet search, I learned it was made in Santa Barbara.  Melissa is originally from Santa Barbara.  I asked her what she knew about it.  She was sure if we made a trip to Santa Barbara we could find it.  Melissa visited Santa Barbara during Holy Week and she found the lady that makes it.

It was past time for Melissa and I to spend a day together, so today was the day we set for making a road trip to Santa Barbara.   We left early.  Early for Melissa and April.

As we drove past the coffee roasters, it smelled so good, making us both want a good cup of coffee.  We soon stopped for granitas.  This girl has been almost two weeks without coffee.  A granita revved up my engine.

The fuego trees and bougnavillas were the most brilliant colors I have ever seen them.  Once we left the main highway and headed for Santa Barbara, the highway was pocked with pot holes, thus slowing our journey.  Not that we minded.  It is a beautiful drive.  The haziness of the morning made the mountains even more beautiful.  Winding our way into Santa Barbara, it was hot. 

Melissa told me about the legend of the castle.  She said those that go to the castle, do not return.  We did not go to the castle to learn if this was true or not.  She told me how her mother was walking to the hospital when it was time for Melissa to be born.  The mother did not make it to the hospital and Melissa was born in the street.  I am glad I did not know that story as I raced down the mountain to get Melissa to the hospital before April was born.

As we neared Santa Barbara, Melissa' excitement level clearly rose.  And, did it mention it was HOT.  Melissa directed me through El Centro with its narrow winding streets.  She showed me the church and central park, a beautiful church and park.  Then she showed me the street where she was born.   It was just a couple of blocks from the hospital.

Then we began to search for the lady's house to where we going.  Melissa had her phone number and it took several phone call to finally arrive there.

The lady's name is Munda and she is 75 years old.  She has been making junco since she was 7 years old.  Her daughter does not make junco, but embroiders the purses and hats.  They say they are the only people in Santa Barbara still making junco.  It is all made by hand and is pretty labor intensive.  Some pieces take 3-8 days.  Munda says no one wants to put that kind of time into for what they can sell it for.  Munda also has cataracts but is very thankful she has never lost her eyes since she needs them to this work.  If she is the only one that still makes junco, it won't be long until this beautiful are is gone.  Melissa says there are other similar forms, made in other parts of the country, but not made out of junco.

Junco is a type of weaving.  The reeds are small and the weave is tight. 

This is a junco tree.

The dried reeds.

The tool used to weave the reeds together.  To me, it looked like it was bone, but I don't know for sure.

I did not completely understand how the reeds are died, but I gathered it was a lot of work and took some time.

Samples of the finished products
April modeled one of the hats.

It was after 1:00 when we left Munda's house.  When we got to Siquetepeque, we ate at Wendy's and then made our way up and down the mountains of Honduras.  April began to get fussy just before we got home.  By that time, we were all bit a tired.  

Another good day in Honduras.

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