When you enter the home of Ludivina and Fausto, you immediately sense that there is something special here. Though they are both very soft spoken like so many of the Zapotec people, their weavings speak for them. Years and years of experience, and a desire to create “something different,” has given their rugs and bags a unique quality of design and color that definitely stands out. The colors especially, from all natural vegetable dyes, are combined exquisitely into each work of art.
Luduvina and Faustino work well together and value being able to spend their days together. Faustino focuses on designing the tapetes and figuring out what sizes they should be, while Ludivina is an expert dyer, and then they both weave on their side-by-side looms. Due to the ease and lower cost of aniline dyes, the majority of the weavers in the village have switched to using synthetic dyes, as opposed to the traditional dyes achieved from local plants, minerals and even insects. Ludivina and Faustino specialize in keeping the ancient knowledge of natural dyes alive, and the way Ludi creates a huge array of brilliant colors from all natural ingredients is truly incredible alchemy.
With three families living together, all related, there is never any lack of activity in the central courtyard. Often you will see someone preparing the cornmeal flour on the grinding stone (metate). Someone else might be grinding indigo dye on another metate, while someone else is playing with a baby. They are all relatives of Faustino, living in the home where he was born. Like most women in Teotitlan, Ludivina moved into Faustino’s home when they were married.
They now have two grown sons, ages 24 and 22. After completing his studies, the eldest son Luis Enrique now works in Oaxaca city in administration. He was the first member of his family to graduate from college. Their younger son, Juan Isaac, is currently studying criminology at the university.
Ludivina and Faustino are working hard to achieve an ambitious goal they have been envisioning for a long time. They want to build their own home and move out of the family complex. This is a huge move, both financially and in terms of being a break from tradition. Over the past decades they have saved their money to buy a little plot of land nearer to the entrance to the town. Year by year, as money allowed, they built a workshop where they can sell their rugs to passersby. Now they are building additional rooms off the workshop, gradually making a home. Eventually, they will move to this property, and experience peace and quiet like they have never known before.
When asked whether they will be lonely with the new arrangement, Ludivina giggled and explained their plan for their sons (who are still single) to move in with them with their wives and families one day. They are creating a beautiful life for themselves and their sons through their vision, hard work, and dedication to their dreams.
We are proud to be with them on this journey.