Beyond coconut earrings

On Sunday, Carla and I had a date with the folks who have already started to create jewellery and other ‘artesania’ products to sell to tourists. An American guy came last year to teach the locals how to transform coconuts into earrings, peach stones into carved key rings, mobiles, purses and more. The Mayor has invested money in equipment to help the process. The American guys didn’t come back for the second phase but there remains a lot of nice work created during the course, and some people keen to respark the business. The key players seem to be Janet, who runs the ‘beauty salon’ here, Dora who is the Mayor’s sister and looks after all the equipment and William, who knows how to use all the tools and is currently making more products to set up his own kiosk.

We were shown all the products already created. Here are a few examples, and the tools that exist.

Carla and I got quite inspired at the possibilities for using the equipment, which Dora said we can borrow. We think the jewellery and existing products are a bit fiddly/naff/not unique and don’t have a lot of potential for profit so we are thinking to create a new range of products which can be made quickly and easily by a range of people and which draw on the things unique to El Paredon.

We spoke to William about the potential of these morro fruits. When the inside is scraped out, the cask is very hard and light – perfect for souvenirs. We have commissioned William to prepare 10 for us, of different shapes.

After that meeting, we were given a big bag of shrimps for free by some local fishermen and so we took them to Sandra’s house and cooked them up for her family. After we ate, Kayley showed us some products she has been developing in her spare time – bracelets and these funny little creatures, which I kinda love.

It would be cool to find a space in the village to sell all the best work by local people and also the work we create through our project.


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