- Title: Mexican town of eternal Christmas outshines with world-famous baubles
- Date: 17th December 2019
- Summary: TLALPUJAHUA, MICHOACAN, MEXICO (RECENT - NOVEMBER 29, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF LOCAL BAUBLE MAKER BLOWING GLASS TO MAKE SHAPE OF BAUBLE LOCAL BAUBLE MAKER CARRYING RECENTLY BLOWN GLASS IN SHAPE OF BAUBLES BAUBLES BEING DIPPED IN RED DYE VARIOUS OF BAUBLE MAKER PUTTING RECENTLY-DYED BAUBLES OUT TO DRY (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LOCAL BAUBLE MAKER, MARTIN MARIN, SAYING: "The good thing for us is providing happiness to people with the products that we make for Christmas. It's a happiness, a feeling of satisfaction to know that we are giving joy to all families." COMPLETED BAUBLES PEOPLE AT LOCAL BAUBLES MARKET BAUBLES AT MARKET (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CONSUMER, NAYELI RODRIGUEZ, SAYING: "They (baubles) are beautiful, they are at a good price, at prices for the artesan, by the hands of those who make it, it's impressive. You don't find them at just any shopping centre. Above all else, the variety, they're really beautiful. You never get sick of seeing so much beauty." BAUBLES THAT LIGHT UP FOR SALE BAUBLES STORE AT MARKET VARIOUS OF CONSUMER CHOOSING BAUBLES CONSUMERS AT MARKET (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LOCAL BAUBLES MAKER, MARIA ARGUETA, SAYING: "I think that for Tlalpujahua these (baubles) are very important to us, I think that about 60%, 70% of the population works in this sector. I think it's the breadbasket of the people." BAUBLE WITH IMAGE OF FRIDA KAHLO ARGUETA IN HER MARKET STORE VARIOUS OF BAUBLES ON DISPLAY CONSUMERS AT BAUBLES MARKET LOCALS OUT ON STREET LOCAL STREET LOCAL STREET WITH LARGE TOWN LETTERS THAT SPELL 'TLALPUJAHUA'
- Embargoed: 31st December 2019 15:16
- Keywords: Christmas Christmas tree Michoacan Tlalpujahua baubles decorations ornaments town
- Location: TLALPUJAHUA, MICHOACAN, MEXICO
- City: TLALPUJAHUA, MICHOACAN, MEXICO
- Country: Mexico
- Topics: Religion/Belief,Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA001BAD58P3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Everyday is Christmas at the small Mexican town of Tlalpujahua.
Located in the southern state of Michoacan, this town has a reputation for making high-quality hand-made glass baubles for the Christmas tree. And so popular are its decorations, its ornaments have found buyers all over the world and attracts such demand that keeps production going all year.
About 60 percent of its production goes abroad, to the United States and Canada as well as distant markets in Japan, Malaysia and Europe. And Tlalpijahua's baubles places a premium on quality over its cheaper Chinese competitors.
The production process begins with bauble makers hand-blowing glass into the desired shapes over a 750 degree celsius (1,382 Fahrenheit) flame, transforming long glass tubes into shapes ranging from standard baubles to flowers, chillies, onions, carrots, apples, pears, bananas, sweets, birds or bells. The ornaments are then decorated in sparkling colours.
The town's emergence as a leader in the production of hand-crafted ornaments goes back to the 1960s when a local man, Joaquin Munoz Orta, returned from Chicago where he had learned about making ornaments while working in a factory that produced artificial Christmas trees. He set up a workshop that grew steadily and inspired others in the town to take up ornament-making.
Decades on, the lucrative Christmas industry has boosted the fortunes of a town which once thrived on income from gold and silver mines but fell on hard times after a 1937 mudslide buried a third of the town and shut down most mining.
Overall, Tlalpujahua is now home to 10,000 full-time workers in the ornament industry and accounts for 70 percent of the town's economy.
According to the Ministry of Economic Development, 50 million ornaments are made each year in the town, with half exported.
(Production: Josue Gonzalez)
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