On March 13 I received an email from a girl named Machi Di Pace introducing herself as an Italian photojournalist that was in Ecuador working on a phoreportage about Tagua production. She told me about her interest in coming to Manabì (this is the province where I live ) the following next week to visit our factory to document our work. She added her intention to publish the reportage in major Italian magazines.
I must confess that I was king of intrigued. A reportage about Tagua for Italian Mags? I used to believe tagua was well known because of the finished buttons used in the fashion industry. Italian factories import tagua blanks to manufacture finished buttons. Italians even set up expeditions to find out where tagua came from and destroy the German’s trading monopoly on this product. This dated back to 19th century.
As the friendly person that I am , I immediately contacted her and agreed to meet. On Wednesday 30th she arrived to Manta, and we set up our meeting for Thursday, the 31st.
I picked up Macchi (www.machidipace.com) and her friend Claudio Morelli (www.claudiomorelli.com) at 9am, and we started our tour. I organized the agenda this way:
2.- Visit to Tagua drying yards. How tagua arrived from the farms? How tagua is dried and peeled?
I won’t go into details about all the things we did during this tour. I prefer to wait for Machi’s posts. Hopefully she would mail me copies of the magazines. I will scan them and post it for the delight of our readers. At least, the links of the websites. Machi, you will provide us with this information, won’t you?
4.- It was midday, and one final stop was pending to call the day off. Visit to EcuadorianHands.com’s offices . We might have beautiful products but if we don’t get to distribute them appropiately it is as they don’t exist! Don’t you agreed?
I gaveaway to Machi a little souvenir: PaloSanto aromatherapy essential oils. It was not a surprised she didn’t know about this product either . Her visit made me realize about all the hard work we’ve had in front of us to promote all the beautiful handcrafts we have in Ecuador!
After this quick stop, I returned them to the hotel. By next day I set a tour to the farms to visit Tagua Palms. Unfortunately I could join them on this little trip, but one of the artisans, Eduardo, took good care of my friends.
My last email exchange with Machi was on the 3rd, I transcript:
“Thanks for your email. Eduardo took us to the “fincha” to see the tagua palms and it was very interesting. It was exactly what I missed for my reportage. Tomorrow we are going to Lima for two weeks, then we’ll come back in Quito to take the flight for Italy.”
You are very welcome Machi. Come back anytime you like. And thank you for you interest in spreading the word about this ecofriendly product, used not only for buttong for clothing, but as beads jewelry supplies as well as figurines and beaded jewelry.
We are looking forward to your reportages. Thanks,
Your new friend in Ecuador,