Sunday, February 28, 2010


Two weeks ago I went to El Tejar, Chimaltenango. El Tejar is known for the bricks, tiles and shingles (teja) made by hand from clay and baked in primitive ovens. When one drives past El Tejar seems like every other house is a teja producer, the obvious guess why the town is called El Tejar.

Here is a video of a man making tejas. It takes him 1 minute and 9 second to make one, if he can keep the rhythm steady he will make about 400 tejas a day. After being made they sit under the sun, then they are transfered and piled up to dry more to finally be put in a wood fire oven. The will be sold at Q1.50 to Q2.00 each. My guess is the artesian will make tops 50 cents of a quetzales per shingles (8 US cents).

This is yet another story "spork" story. The sporks are those spoon and forks in one. You can scoop and you can stab! The same with these stories you are amazed by the labor but stabbed by the poverty and conditions of the people involved.

Another artesian making floor tiles:

The oven

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