The primary purpose for today on our trip was to shop for things to bring back to the States and resell as fundraisers.
We started out the day with stops at two jade stores — Jada Maya and Casa del Jade. I was impressed with both of them with regard to their selection, their museum, their production facility and their fine customer service.
I am happy to report that in addition to the pieces that we bought at Jade Maya for resale, the company donated three additional pieces. When we explained to the sweet woman that gave us a tour that our nonprofit returned to Guatemala a couple of times per year to do service work, she practically started crying and seemed so touched that we did that. I think her “good word” to the boss resulted in those three extra pieces being donated. We told her that we would sell them and turn the profits into funds for more social work.
We were similarly delighted with the service and possibilities for partnership with Casa del Jade! In fact, Guatemala Service Projects is now “registered” at Casa del Jade such that any time ANYONE shops there and tells the cashier that they want their purchase to support GSP, 10% of the sale will be donated to our nonprofit. I did buy a few pieces at this place as well, but if anyone wants to purchase from them directly in the future, please reference our name! Thank you!
After establishing relationships with both of those stores, we had a quick tour of Choco Museo where we saw the life cycle of chocolate production and sampled several varieties. We didn’t take the full class this time, as Trent and I had both already done it before. But, we used our combined knowledge to teach Jill what we knew! We also talked with a backstrap loom weaver about her craft and then went to lunch at El Sabor Chapin, a wonderful place near the artisan’s market that we first visited during our trip last August. They didn’t disappoint!
Afterwards, we headed towards the artisan’s market in search for more goodies. But, in addition to searching for more crafts, we also ventured towards the barber near the market where Scott first got an official Guatemalan haircut in 2015. We had no trouble at all finding it. It was right near the bus station where all the chicken buses parked, waiting for passengers.
While John helped Scott wait his turn for a haircut reprise, the rest of us went to the artisan’s market for shopping. Thankfully, I found everything that I wanted, and even made a couple new friends! One of those is Eve. Her husband, Santos, is a jeweler that also cuts and polishes jade to make custom jewelry. We bought another 14 pieces from her, all styles that are youthful and trendy in appearance, and reasonably affordable too!
When we couldn’t possible add any more jade to our stash (though it’s easy because it packs so lightly) we switched to blankets and beaded quetzal keychains. The blankets are absolutely gorgeous. I only bought two, and they are both twin-size, but hopefully I’ll have more room in return luggage when I come again in August later this year. The quetzal bird keychains are something I have carried several times before, but these are a bit larger and have finer details — for the same price! I got 15 of those.
Added to the corte fabric and angel ornaments we bought at Nim Po’t, we’re coming back with lots of goodies! I hope you all are eager to shop!
Tired at the end of the day, we ordered takeout from Frida’s (a restaurant styled after Frida Kahlo) and settled in for a little relaxation before bed. Ironically, fireworks started going off right outside the entrance to the hotel at 11pm, so it wasn’t such a peaceful evening after all… but very exciting nevertheless!
We head to Nuevo Reto tomorrow to check up on our community garden, serve a community meal, help assist with an English-learning class, and deliver a bunk bed!
For now, I’ll leave you with a beautiful picture of Antigua’s Central Park, with trees as purple as the Lenten banners that hang from churches and places of business all throughout Antigua.