It all started with some earrings...
Some beautiful, vibrant, dangling earrings. I saw them as our Huichol friend laid out all her crafts on the table for us to look through. Not only did I have to have them, I had to share them! I had to find a way to help the lovely people I was meeting sell to a wider audience. And here we are...
There are over 160 indigenous groups in Mexico, each with a vibrant culture and handmade crafts that celebrate that culture. Our passion is giving those indigenous artisans a platform to sell their crafts to a wider audience, not only sharing beauty, but also becoming more self-supporting with each sale.
Becca and I (Kearstin) both worked for the same Christian non-profit in Ensenada, Baja California Mexico. Through our time at Agua Viva, we not only learned about the vibrant indigenous populations of Mexico, but we also got to meet people and families from different groups throughout Mexico. As we became friends with Amelia, Lorena, and others from the Wixarica (Huichol) tribe in Jalisco, we fell in love with them and the beautiful jewelry they beaded by hand. Turns out, this beaded jewelry is traditional for the Wixarica tribe and the skill is passed down through generations.
While most Wixarica people live off the land, they do sell these beaded crafts as a way to make an income, but when everyone around you also knows how to make the same jewelry, the market is slow. Becca and I had the idea: what if we could help them sell? We buy their crafts at a fair market price, and resell it to our friends and family in the States.
Later we met some people from the Pai Pai tribe here in Baja California. They don't make beaded jewelry, but they do make incredible pottery! The Pai Pai, like the Wixarica, live off the land, but can make an income from their traditional crafts. But that means they have to go to town, at least 2 hours away, and many don't have the ability to get there.
The same is true for so many tribes around Mexico. They have the ability to make a marketable and special product, but they just don't have the platform. So Papel Picado was born.
Every product sold on this site is (1) handmade by indigenous artisans, (2) directly purchased from the artisan at a fair market price, and (3) a way to help those in under resourced areas of Mexico become little more self-supported.
Every purchase comes with a card that states the artisans name, tribe, and region of Mexico. That means you get a beautiful product, the satisfaction of shopping sustainably, and a small lesson on the indigenous groups of Mexico!