Nuestro Granito de Arena (Our Small Contribution) - UPDATED September 20 2017, 1 Comment
Here at Shoptezuma, we are deeply saddened by the news and impact of the big earthquakes that hit Mexico in the past month, including the recent most devastating one that hit on the anniversary of that fateful day of September 19th, 1985. At 32 years, we rediscovered the horrors of that day. On a personal note, I was only a small boy in middle school, but remember so many details so vividly. Fortunately then as now, me and my family were lucky enough that we didn't suffer any personal loss, so I can only imagine what so many families are going through today.
I've given a lot of thought on whether to make a statement on this, I don't want us to be perceived as trying to take advantage of this difficult situation. But I also feel the need to express solidarity with the people in my country, and to help in any way we can, channeling also help from others if possible. If only a portion of our customers could join and help, we could make a difference for a family struggling right now.
This is why we are launching a small effort to raise donations via our store, by offering all proceeds coming from the sale of the new #FuerzaMexico t-shirt collection to go out for relief efforts in Mexico.
In an effort for transparency, I am detailing how this will happen: For every t-shirt sold, we will donate
$6 $8 to one (or all) of the following organizations/funds:
- Cruz Roja Mexicana
- Direct Relief
Fondo Unido Mexico
- Globe Aware
- Organizacion Topos
- Oxfam Mexico
- Project Paz
- Unicef Mexico
$6 $8 if you are paying $20*? Shoptezuma will not profit from this effort in any way. Here is how the money is used:
$17$15.30 go to cover the cost of the t-shirt via Merchify (after our vendor has graciously accepted to reduce the cost to help this cause)
$3$4.70 of your paid money will go to donation
- I will personally match
the $3$3.30 from every purchased t-shirt, up to $1,000.
- Any shipping cost you pay goes exactly to that, nothing else. If there were any differences, we will make sure to add to the donation pool.
If you don't want to buy a t-shirt or don't like this effort, we won't take offense. I still want to encourage you to contribute in some way. I have added the links to the organizations above so you can go directly and make your contribution. This is no time for hesitation, Mexico and Mexicans need our help.
Every week from now and through the end of October I will personally make the donation and post a receipt in here. That way it is clear that the money is going to the appropriate place. After that, depending on any continued sales, I will keep the donations going or retire the t-shirts entirely from the store.
Please add your granito de arena and help those in need.
* Facebook charges $1 more per transaction.
Update - 1st Week
Our first donation went out today to Globe Aware, who have been helping small villages in Mexico, Tepoztlan and Morelos. To keep things transparent, here is our donation receipt:
Update - 2nd Week
We continue with our weekly donations to help with disaster relief. This week we combine efforts and donate to both Unicef and GlobeAware, to help with their efforts helping children and small rural communities in Mexico after the earthquake.
Update - 3rd Week
Our 3rd week donation went out to Fondo Unido Mexico:
Update - 4th Week
This fourth week, we have made a couple of donations to help with earthquake relief - To Oxfarm and to GlobeAware, who continues to help us promote this effort, but more importantly, continue to help rural communities deal with the aftermath.
Meet the Artesano: Eduardo Alcalá July 10 2017, 0 Comments
This next artesano in our series, is a crafty gentleman from the state of Michoacán, México named Eduardo Alcalá.
Here is Don Eduardo's story in his own words:
"As far as inspiration is concerned, I have to admit that many times it's the leather itself that suggests the bag's shape. Designs depend on the quality of the leather, on the shapes or objects I see around, on current trends… and they even depend on the mood I'm in!"
"My name is Eduardo Alcalá Valencia, and I began to work with tooled leather in the state of Michoacán, where I am from. I made saddles, linings, pants, etc. Then I made shoes and dressage.
"One day I received a telegram with some money in it, inviting me to go to the state of Jalisco to work, and I accepted. After a week, the workshop owner approached me and asked if I knew how to make belts, to which I replied yes. He told me to leave what I was doing and took me to another part of the workshop, where I made belts. Soon I was promoted to master, given my own working table, and I coordinated a team. I was given the freedom to create my own designs.
"One day my wife asked me to make her a coin purse, and when the people at the workshop saw what I had done, they liked it and asked if could do it in a larger size. That's how I began making bags. Sometimes they would bring me some samples to replicate, but most of the time I worked on my own designs.
"As time passed by I became workshop manager, and I developed a good working and personal relationship with the owner, Max. We even became compadres. After a while things changed and problems arose, so I decided to set up my own workshop, where I specialize in belts and bags.
"As far as inspiration is concerned, I have to admit that many times it's the leather itself that suggests the bag's shape. Designs depend on the quality of the leather, on the shapes or objects I see around, on current trends… and they even depend on the mood I'm in!
"Amongst the challenges I have had to face, I am proud to say that I have been able to support my family. Even though this is a beautiful profession and the results are equally beautiful, it is also a difficult profession because sometimes people would rather buy from intermediaries than directly from the person who made the item. This unfortunately affects the artisan, because we earn a lot less than we should."
Don Eduardo's products include these two amazing leather handbags available in our store:
"My designs are filled with Mexican sentiment, because in Mexico we do not only revere death (Day of the Dead celebrations), we also revere life. This is reflected in the work of artisans who infuse their products with life.
"I would like to see my type of work preserved, and I also want to show it to the whole wide world. It would give a great sense of satisfaction to know that my work is recognized and admired throughout the world. It would even be better if my work was recognized in my Mexico.
"I would like to assure customers that my products are entirely crafted by hand, with quality materials, which makes each piece a work of art. Since I make each piece by hand from leather, there can be slight imperfections, which should not be regarded as defects, but rather as a testimony to the authenticity of the material and the handcrafted process."
Please come back later for more updates on our amazing artesanos from México.
Meet the Artesano: Taller Maya June 18 2017, 0 Comments
Based in Yucatan, Taller Maya creates beautiful artesanias and promotes development in a place in Mexico known for its history of traditional craftsmanship and Mayan techniques. In their own words:
"Despite gender roles in her community, Doña Landy forged ahead even when facing financial difficulties. Yet she provided for her family through the crafts she was making at the workshop."
"We're a project borne from the work of Fundación Haciendas del Mundo Maya, and we work with about 200 Maya artisans in the Yucatan peninsula. Our mission is to promote the development of Maya communities to ensure a better quality of life for them, as well as to foster opportunities for education, health and social well being.
"At first it wasn't easy getting the artisans to trust our project, especially since according to Maya customs it's not acceptable for women to work in handcrafts. Also, they weren't used to work as a team, so we developed different training workshops for them.
"Since then we have been presenting different projects to benefit the Maya communities with a view to creating jobs for them in handcraft workshops. These include weaving on pedal looms and filigree jewelry.
"Handcrafts are an intrinsic part of everyday life for the Maya people, so this project aims at rescuing and promoting the traditional arts and crafts of the Yucatan peninsula."
A beautiful piece from this taller is featured in our store here:
"Throughout these years we've been fortunate to overcome the challenges we have encountered, and thanks to our hard work we can tell the quality of life of these women artisans has improved. And not only that, they have garnered respect and recognition through the work they do.
"We are very proud of Doña Landy, whose story is amongst the ones that has moved us the most. Despite gender roles in her community, Doña Landy forged ahead even when facing financial difficulties. Yet she provided for her family through the crafts she was making at the workshop. Thanks to her, other women have found a way to get their husbands involved, and now they are working at the workshop too.
"Another reason for feeling proud of our achievements is the international recognition of our mission and hard work. In 2007 we received the To Do! Award at the World Tourism Fair in Berlin for our efforts in social responsibility through Fundación Haciendas del Mundo Maya, and in 2009 we received Condé Nast's World Savers Award for our social and environmental commitment, and our contributions to the relief of poverty."
Here is a short video from that Condé Nast's event:
THE EXCERPT ABOVE WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN NOVICA.COM.
Meet the Artesano - Angela Quiñones May 28 2017, 0 Comments
One of the newest artesanos whose products join our collection of fabulous products from Mexico is Angela Quiñones. Angela is from Oaxaca and has an amazing ability to produce beautiful handmade shawls you can find in our store.
Here's Angela's story in her own words:
"My art is unique and you won't find my designs among any other artisans. All my weavings are completely crafted by hand, and I have a very special technique."
"I'm Angela Quiñones Martinez, born in Oaxaca on June 1, 1971. I work mostly at weaving cotton tablecloths and bedspreads on a traditional Zapotec loom. My parents taught me. When I was a little girl, they wove cotton tablecloths and, when I grew older, I learned the art.
"Because of our economic situation, I was only able to finish primary school before starting to help them full time with their weavings. It was good practice, so I could learn to make tablecloths very well. Eventually, I began creating my own designs.
"I can't remember exactly when I started as an artisan. I feel like it's my family legacy and, since I wasn't able to continue my schooling, I decided to do what I already knew how to do.
"I'm sure my parents must have finished my first pieces for me, because I was just a child. I remember my first design was a small placemat in yellow and orange. I don't know what happened to it. Maybe it was sold.
"When I was 21, I got married. My husband comes from a family of artisans who weave traditional wool rugs, so we dedicate more time to making rugs. His name is Israel Ruiz Bazan, the head of the Ruiz Bazan family [Novica-featured artisans]. I left my own weavings aside and it wasn't until 2010 that I decided to start making cotton table linens, bedspreads and throws.
"I set up my own workshop where I create my own designs, which I've shown in a few artisan exhibits. My inspiration comes from everything I see in nature and what I am able to achieve by manipulating color combinations.
"I enjoy visiting my parents and going for walks in the countryside.
"At one time of my life, I went through some tough times. In the village where I live, we women are expected to look after the house and children, cook and clean, and work in the corn fields. We didn't have enough money, so my husband had to work all day and I really didn't have much time to weave. My priority was seeing that the children ate, got dressed and got to school.
"But with the help of my husband's family, I was able to weave when I had a free moment. Novica has done much to help the Ruiz Bazan family. With what we earn from our weavings, we've been able to send our children to school, and now I have time to weave my own designs.
"I have four children — three boys and a girl. The oldest is about to graduate from college and we're so proud of him. The next one is about to finish high school. The youngest boy has completed junior high and, like his brothers, is going on to high school. The youngest, my daughter, is in elementary school. It is my children who motivate my husband and me to be better every day.
"My art is unique and you won't find my designs among any other artisans. All my weavings are completely crafted by hand, and I have a very special technique that distinguishes my work from everyone else's. I began using it only recently and I call it 'black foot.' I hope you like my designs and that one day you'll come visit the area where I work. The doors are open to you."
Here are Angela's creations in our store:
Let us know what you think about Angela's creation in the comments section below.
Thanks for reading!
The excerpt above was originally published in Novica.com.
Meet the Artesano - Ana Maria Gonzalez May 21 2017, 0 Comments
The latest artesano in our series is Ana Maria Gonzalez, a skilled craft worker from Mexico who specializes in wood work, providing beautiful work particularly in decoupage crafts. Read more about her:
"My designs reveal a tiny bit of Mexico that I carry in my heart."
"Hi. I'm Ana Maria González, and for as long as I can remember I've been in contact with arts and crafts. My whole family produced them in one way or another and whenever we'd visit our relatives, my cousins and I would end up making something for fun.
"After I married, my husband and I created various kinds of handicrafts, but the need to make something different led me to launch my own line of designs. I began making decorative boxes, painted by hand with different finishes. Today I create boxes with antique motifs.
"First we craft the box of pinewood. We sand it and then decorate it. Currently, I am working in decoupage, adding an antique finish with a special formula I mix myself.
"My designs reveal a tiny bit of Mexico that I carry in my heart."
Here is some of Ana Maria's work, available in Shoptezuma:
Please check Ana Maria's products and let us know what they think in the comments below.
The excerpt above was originally published in Novica.com.
Free Shipping and Holiday Update November 18 2014, 3 Comments
You may have noticed that, for the past few months, we have been hard at work adding new products to our catalog of true Mexican products... you can now shop from Chocolate Abuelita for a nice hot chocolate drink, to a collection of spices and condiments to help with your traditional Mexican food. We've even started adding some recipes for traditional Mexican dishes using products available in our store.
Now, we are proud to offer a new feature that is sure to delight some of our more loyal customers: Free Shipping. That's right, now (and for a limited time) when you purchase $75 or more from our store, shipping will cost you nada. Here's how it works:
- Just add items to your cart as usual,
- Once your cart reaches $75, and you've finished shopping, click "checkout" or click on the cart at the top of the page
- Now your cart will show a new option for "Free Shipping" - select it.
- Done! it's that easy.
We also want to let you know in advance of the Holiday season, that the last day to order products from our store and ensure they are shipped this year, is Friday December 19th at 1pm ET. Beyond this point, all purchases will be shipped starting January 6th, 2015.
As always, I want to thank you for your support.
Mexico and the World Cup April 28 2014, 0 Comments
I've had the opportunity to attend games in two World Cups, the first in 1986 in Mexico (including the final between Argentina and Germany), and the second in the 1994 USA tournament. As a soccer fan, this is an event that I look forward to happen; it's a long 4-years wait, but when it finally gets here, it has never disappointed (with the possible exception of Italy '90). There is just no other event like it.
As a Mexico fan, I've been with El Tri in the good times (the 1993 Copa America, the 1999 Confederations Cup), and the bad times (well, let's not go into that level of detail). There are so many moments stuck in the memory of all us fans - Manuel Negrete's goal in 1986, Hugo Sanchez's substitution that never came, the penalties... those $%&@ penalties. After that infamous game against Bulgaria in 1994, you could not even talk to me for a week, without me bringing it up and getting mad all over again.
This is a sport that brings the passion of most Mexicans out, at the club level for sure, but more so at the National team level. El Tri is one thing everyone in Mexico will have an opinion, whether they like soccer or not, everyone will follow the team during the World Cup, and everyone will be a coach for that month or so.
This year, the World Cup will be played in Brazil, and one thing is for sure, if Mexico advances past Round of 8 or even Round of 4, there will be many people celebrating in the streets of Mexico. Personally, I don't have my hopes in getting to a semifinal or final round in this championship, but... can you imagine??
In any case, it is with this passion and joy (and hope) that I am now looking forward to Brazil 2014. And while I am at it, I am happy to present to you the "El Tri" collection at Shoptezuma.com. A complete selection of items that celebrate Mexico's participation in this year's World Cup, including original Adidas jerseys, shirts, scarfs, as well as the Panini World Cup album and stickers, so you can keep track of all games, teams and players. To celebrate even further, we are giving away a free Panini album with the purchase of any Mexico team jersey (while supplies last).
Come take a look, if you're a soccer or Mexico team fan, you will sure find something for you.
I'll just close by saying... Vamos Muchachos!
Dia del Niño with El Chavo del Ocho April 16 2014, 0 Comments
April 30th is a very special day in Mexico, as we celebrate the little people who fill our lives with joy - kids! And it's also an opportunity that many of us, the old ones, take to search within for the kid inside ("el niño que llevamos dentro"). Across schools and houses in all of Mexico, kids are celebrated in their day... big or small, boy or girl, it's the day to be happy and playful.
As we get ready to celebrate Dia del Niño, there is one childlike figure (more like icon) whose innocence and ingenuity has survived the test of time, a character that started many years ago on TV and continued to entertain kids young and old for decades - El Chavo. Roberto Gomez Bolaños "Chespirito" created this character in the early 1970's and since then has been a staple of Mexican entertainment, surviving to this day in the animated series of the same name, including all the famous characters like Quico, La Popis, Ñoño and Don Ramón.
At Shoptezuma we want to celebrate this joyful occasion and pay tribute to this lovable character by offering you a collection of toys from the TV series that are sure to bring back some memories. Be sure to check out El Chavo Parlanchin, a personal favorite as it plays back some of El Chavo's famous phrases. Also a favorite, El Chavo's Hat... you'll wish you had one of this when you were a kid.
We hope you enjoy this April 30th, play with your kids or nephews if you have any, go out and run and jump on your own if you don't. The point is that you find and connect with the kid inside.
More Flavors from Mexico - New Products! March 24 2014, 0 Comments
At Shoptezuma.com we are committed to offer you the best products from Mexico, and today, we are happy to tell you that you can now find household Mexican brands like Tajin, Clemente Jacques and Sonric's at our store. With this, not only do we add to our line of salsas and condiments to bring spice to your everyday meals, but we are also expanding our candy offerings, from traditional glorias and obleas to now lollipops, gummies and powders, all with the unique Mexican touch (i.e. get ready for some spicy snack time!).
To make your shopping experience easier, you will now be able to browse our grocery products (Sabor) in four major categories:
Shop around our new Sabor page, we really hope you enjoy these fabulous products. If there's anything you would like to see and you can't find, we'd love to hear about it. Please send us an email and we'll do our best to find it for you.
Mexican Hot Sauces - Bringing on the Heat March 19 2014, 0 Comments
When I was a kid, back in Mexico City, one of my dearest memories is that of my father taking us to the bowling alley (Bol Tlalpan, for those familiar with el D.F.) - and not because I was a good bowler, nah. It was because of all the snacks you could have while the grown ups played. In particular, I remember these potato chips they would serve with lots of limes and hot salsa to pour on at your discretion.
In my mind, I've always associated bowling with potato chips and salsa Bufalo... my memory might be nebulous, and last time I talked to my dad about this he insisted it was salsa Valentina. Whatever the case, this was something that made a very good family time great. The flavors and aromas from those times are stuck in my mind. And the amount of salsa I consumed back then, plus all the chilitos, spicy candy and snacks (more on these soon) prepared my stomach to take on anything (as they say, "quede curtido").
These days, hot sauces are something you will find in most, if not all, Mexican houses. Whether they're to share with friends, to spice up some mariscos or simply for every day use, they have become a staple of traditional Mexican food.
I am happy to share with you that you can now find a fine selection of hot sauces in Shoptezuma.com. As we continue to grow our catalog of products, this was long overdue.
I hope you enjoy them.
Football and Tamales Sunday (Dia de la Candelaria) January 27 2014, 0 Comments
Every year, Super Sunday is a big day in football, and this year's will be no exception with the two arguably best teams getting to the final game. But what makes this Sunday extra special for those with roots in Mexico isn't the game alone, but the idea that we'll get to watch it while enjoying some delicious tamales!
That's right, as many people know, February 2nd is the day we celebrate Dia de la Candelaria in Mexico, more famously known for the day we enjoy delicious tamales.
As with many other traditions in Mexico, this one has its origins in the catholic church and, as also happens with many other traditions, has been adapted to fit Mexico's own culture. Popular knowledge goes that Dia de la Candelaria is related to the presentation of baby Jesus to the temple of Jerusalem, which is commonly celebrated with a procession to church carrying lights or candles (candelas). In Mexico, people who got a hidden baby figurine in the traditional Rosca de Reyes (commonly celebrated on January 6th to coincide with the visit of the Three Kings or Reyes Magos), should then organize a party and serve tamales and atole (not incidentally, both made of maize). In some towns, people will take corn cobs to church to get blessed, in hopes for a good harvest (February 2nd also coincides with a celebratory day to the Gods in Aztec culture). It is also accustomed that people will dress the baby Jesus from the house's Nativity and take it to the temple for Mass celebration, after which it would be taken back home and placed somewhere for the rest of the year, until the next Christmas.
So, there you go. This Sunday, you can give your Football viewing party a new twist and entertain your guests with some delicious tamales. At half time you can tell them the story of why this is a special Sunday to celebrate together.
PS: You know what goes great with Tamales, right? Salsa!
Year-End Delivery Schedule December 18 2013, 0 Comments
The year is coming to an end... and it's been quite an exciting one! We hope the first of many more to come.
We want to wish each and every one of our customers the happiest of the holidays. Whether you spend some time with your loved ones, travel out of town or simply take some time off, this is always a good time to enjoy, regroup, recharge and get ready for a new cycle. We will certainly do that!
That said, we want to let you know our delivery schedule for the remainder of the year: starting December 21st through January 5th, all purchases made in our store will be shipped starting January 6th, 2014.
New in Shoptezuma - Molli's Mexican Cooking Sauces December 12 2013, 0 Comments
Founded by a couple from Mexico, Molli is an up and coming brand of Mexican cooking sauces that are made with a unique blend of all-natural ingredients and that are true to regional recipes. Mölli sauces are the foundation to many traditional regional recipes and are a real time saver when trying to make a delicious Mexican meal in less than 30 minutes.
Molli introduced two great cooking sauces, inspired by local flavors, made with a unique blend of ingredients from the specific variety of chile pepper to just the right herbs & spices:
We love these new additions to our portfolio of salsas and highly recommend you try some of their inspired recipes, sure to bring the true interior Mexican flavors to your kitchen.
Thanksgiving Wishes and Shipping Schedule November 22 2013, 0 Comments
Here at Shoptezuma.com, we are very thankful for each and every one of our customers. We know this is a very special occasion to spend time with family and friends. We wish you enjoy the holiday among those you care about and, if you are traveling, we hope you enjoy your time away and return safe back home.
We also want to let everyone know that, during the Thanksgiving week, any purchases made between 11/22/13 and 12/1/13, will be shipped starting on 12/2/13. We apologize if this causes any inconvenience.
16 de Septiembre - The Day to Celebrate Mexico September 07 2013, 0 CommentsMexican independence is now celebrated by Mexicans around the world by getting together with family and friends, enjoying delicious Mexican food and honoring the country and heroes that gave us so many things to be proud of. And we at Shoptezuma want to celebrate with you...
Meet the Artesano - Pedro Alba August 26 2013, 0 CommentsEarlier this month we announced the new Arte y Artesanias here at Shoptezuma.com, starting with a selection of crafts created by a select group of artesanos in Mexico. We thought you'd want to learn more about them, and so we created this new series of posts called "Meet the Artesano"...
New! Shoptezuma adds Artesanias and new Salsas August 04 2013, 0 CommentsStarting today, we are proud to support local artesanos in Mexico by offering a few products directly from places like Guanajuato, Guerrero and Sonora. From talavera to ceramic, artesanias are not only a true part of our culture but also a way of living for thousands of artist families in Mexico. These beautiful crafts open a whole new category for Shoptezuma - Arte y Artesanias, check it out...
Shoptezuma: A New Destination for Mexico Enthusiasts July 02 2013, 0 Comments
This is what's behind Shoptezuma. The belief that there's a gap out there, where people who love Mexican culture (whether they're Mexican or not) are still looking for the 'real thing', not just the average conception of what most people believe to be Mexican. Lo autentico...