Portoviejo the capital of Manabí, the province where the finest straw shawl hats are woven in the world, is forming new artisans who are making grow and strengthen the tradition and the art of weaving straw hats.
As you know, the tradition of making toquilla straw hats has been transmitted from generation to generation in the families of the manabitas, in the city of Montecristi and Jipijapa to be exact. Picoazá maintains a high commercial activity, but root of the last earthquake suffered by Ecuador, moved to this parish, the trade of the streets of downtown Portoviejo.
In Picoazá there is a female association of straw hats weavers, called the miracle, In the association The Milagro is Margarita Garcia, who since 10 years of age is an expert hat weaver. Today, at age 72, she is the president of this association made up of 40 women of different ages, who daily thread the straw hat to shape the traditional hats, which are sold in the local market for a price ranging from $ 25 up to $ 400.
Straw hats, apart from being a handicraft, is an exportable product that causes much intrigue and desire to obtain one from people living in other countries, generating job opportunities and a source of income for artisans in Ecuador. Doña Margarita García expressed that she feels proud to be an example for the new generation that learns to weave straw shawl, work that she learned from her parents. The support they receive from the Institution is important to make known that in Picoazá fine hats are also woven, the National Institute for Popular and Solidarity Economy -IEPS, to strengthen support for the sector and contribute to the development of new projects.
In Ecuador this art of weaving, every day is still transmitted and learning by new generations, not only in Manabí these amazing hats are woven, it is also done in Cuenca, Santa Elena. In addition, the use of this craft every day grows more, in the world of fashion has become a very important accessory, its spectacular fabric is what attracts the attention of people.
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