The shuttling of the warp and weave of the three giant looms sound like casenets snapping to the thrum of a guitar. “Come! Dance with me! Stamp your feet and shout a song of joy. Ole!” (Watch the 11 sec video of the song of the looms I took HERE.)
My friend Ursula has been insistent. “You must see the weavers,” she said on our first day in Huatulco. Today, on our way to the market to buy provisions for the dinner we are preparing for our hosts, Roscio has brought us to Textilarte.
There are woven fabrics of every colour! Shirts, pants and dresses. Handbags and linens. The colors are vibrant. Lemon yellow nudges up against fuschia and creamy blue. The constant clacking of the looms shuttling back and forth in the front of the store, a reminder of the origins of every thing we see in the shop.
Urusla insists I try on a dress. A blouse. “You will get a good discount,” Roscio assures me. I check out the shirts and buy a robin egg blue linen shirt for C.C. A royal blue blouse for me. And some headbands.
I am excited about the colourful headbands I have chosen. Years ago, for some unknown reason that may or may not have included some wine, C.C and my friend Jane began a tradition of wearing serviettes as hats during dinner. Over the years, we have had many dinner’s where our guests have donned the four cornered hats. Except me. I have never been captured on camera wearing one of the hats. A scarf, maybe. But never a serviette. Now I will have a fashionable alternative for everyone to wear! Bonus!
Next door to Textilarte, Daniel stands on the street, smiling and encouraging us to enter his store, Artesanias Reyes. Its shelves are filled with stunningly beautiful, hand-painted ceramic and wooden bowls and plates and cups and an assortment of artifacts designed to attract wandering tourists. The proprietor Jose Iglesias Allende takes me into the back to show me ‘the factory’. In a tiny alcove that serves as both factory and kitchen, two men sit painting ceramic turtles and parrots. The colors are brilliant. The work painstakingly precise. The finished product beautiful. As we are about to leave, Jose says something to me and points to a panel of beautiful fridge magnets. He wants to give you a gift, Roscio translates. And Jose nods his head and smiles and I pick out a pale blue parrot with beautiful yellow flowers on its back.
I am touched by his generosity and grateful for this gift that will remind me always of the joy and passion and welcoming beauty of Huatulco and its people.
Later, we women join the men to buy the vegetables for the dinner Ursula, Andrew, C.C and I will be preparing for our hosts at their home, Villa Sabah.
Guillermo leads us down the busy street, constantly waving us forward. “No. No,” he says when we inadvertently enter the wrong store. “That is not where we buy. This is the store.”
Loyalty. Family. Tradition. Responsibility. These are values that make up the fabric of Mexican life.
At Villas Fa-Sol, Gerardo has managed the hotel for many years. And though he and his wife, Sandra, are no longer married, they work together like notes of a song. He runs the hotel. She oversees the kitchen. Together, they create a delightfully serene and welcoming space where guests feel comfortable, relaxed, well cared-for and well fed.
Their son Jordan grew up at the hotel and now works closely with his parents to ensure every detail is attended to, every guest’s wish is met with utmost attention. He has been learning English, he tells me, so that he can be of greater help to the guests. I appreciate his efforts. His willingness to learn my language makes me feel less lost when asking for help! A father now, he hopes his son will also grow up at Villas Fa-Sol.
“Family is everything in Mexico” Guillermo tells me. “I like to hire family members because that way, I know I can rely on them. Trust them. They become part of our bigger family and that is good for our guests.”
It is part of the charm of this place where every guest is greeted in the morning with a cheery, Buenos Dias before taking a seat at a table where a breakfast of fresh fruit and other delectable delights awaits. Where the staff are quick to help, to offer direction, to open the gate or open their hearts to make everyone feel welcome.
And like the waves that flow into the bay below, in and out, in and out, life at Villas Fa-Sol becomes a beautiful song of grace and ease, grace and ease because the people make it so.
And in the songs of the wind and sea and the voices of the people and their warm hearts I am reminded that life is a journey best shared with family and friends.
I am grateful.