Sunday, December 7, 2008

Finding Artisans for Spanish Colonial Building Materials

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Guatemala - Finding Artisans for Spanish Colonial Building Materials
Expert: Pancho - 3/13/2006

Hello Pancho,

My husband and I are traveling to Guatemala for the first time. This is a very spontaneous trip. (We only booked our flight a week ago.) We are celebrating our 20th anniversary and have wanted to go to Guatemala for some time. We are leaving March 23 and returning April 3.

Although we have traveled extensively in Mexico, this is our first trip to Guatemala. We fell in love with the Spanish Colonial architecture in a book called Casa Guatemalteca. My husband is a builder and we are beginning two projects in which we would love to be able to incorporate traditional Guatemalan materials.

My dream has been to start an import/export company and since we have an immediate application for these materials, I want to begin to explore this on our trip.

We are interested in purchasing colonial style building materials, especially wood doors, wood and tile flooring, wood cabinets, wrought iron for balconies and stairs. We are interested in both salvaged materials and newly manufactured products.

In addition to the building materials, we are also very interested in purchasing some of the beautiful Guatemalan Santos wood carvings, both old and new.

We would appreciate any suggestions or directions as to how to find artisans, collectives or companies to whom we might contact.

I appreciate your assistance. We are very excited about the possibility of being able to build a successful export business by bringing to the United States some of the products produced by the many talented Guatemalan artisans.

I did contact the Guatemala Consulate in San Francisco. They asked me to send them an email which I did. I will contact them again soon.

I know this is a lot to do in a short time, but I am committed to pursuing this. My husband has a friend who is Guatemalan and lives in Puerto San Jose. He has also said he would help us as much as possible.

Any insight, advise, direction, etc. would be appreciated. Thanking you in advance.



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Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Panajachel, Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
View of Lake Atitlan and volcano from my apartment balcony in Panajachel. Taken by Catherine Todd June 2008.